John McCauley’s Deer Tick are one of my favorite bands of the past decade, churning out a handful of fantastic albums and EPs since 2007. A couple years ago, McCauley teamed up with some pals for all-star side project Diamond Rugs and their self-titled debut was a winner.
The lads are at it again with “Cosmetics,” another rollicking collaboration between McCauley and Robbie Crowell of Deer Tick, Ian Saint Pe (formerly of The Black Lips), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate) and Bryan Dufresne (Six Finger Satellite). It’s amazing how much fun these guys seem to have making music together and they possess pretty remarkable chemistry for a group of musicians who don’t play together very often.
“You form these friendships with people on the road,” McCauley explains. “And you might not see ‘em again for a year or two, or longer, so (getting together for another recording session is) a nice way to stay in touch.”
If you like their first album, you’re gonna dig “Cosmetics.” Diamond Rugs stick to the same delightfully ramshackle formula that worked so well before. There aren’t any clunkers on the 11-track slab, with the band especially impressive on “Voodoo Doll,” “Couldn’t Help It,” the twangy “Live and Shout It,” “Ain’t Religion,” “Killin’ Time” and “Motel Room.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)