Album Review Of Diamond Rugs’ “Cosmetics”

Diamond Rugs
Cosmetics Album Review

       Super-group Diamond Rugs, release the follow-up to their self-titled debut album with Cosmetics. Being compared to the Traveling Wilburys is one thing. Living up to the expectation(s) is a completely different animal altogether; considering the Wilburys are comprised of legends. Legends who have changed culture & legends who have changed the sound of music, decade after decade. Legends like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison & Jeff Lynne (of Electric Light Orchestra).
Now, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit apprehensive at first… I also broke one of my first rules (never judge a book by its cover) and went in with a “Let’s see if this is true” kind of attitude.  I went in expecting to hear the Traveling Wilburys or better than. But with all due respect that’s a lot to live up to.
Voodoo Doll begins the album, grabbing my attention right off the bat with this catchy raw guitar riff played in a pattern. I begin to hear the soft, low billowy blows of the Baritone Sax; playing in-time with the end of the catchy riff.  Pretty soon I hear this Dylan-esk voice begin singing. It didn’t take long before I realized, this is very punkish. Like if Bob Dylan and the Traveling Wilburys met & took direction from Rancid; but in the 80’s with its synth pop played before each chorus .This track easily became one of my favorites.

     Thunk, follows Voodoo Doll on the album. The track is a bit softer than the first. And dare I say very Pixie like in the style of playing? Throw in some more Baritone sax and a couple brass instruments and this tune rocks even harder. Couldn’t Help It continues the album, and it hits me like a ton of brick. THIS IS VERY MUCH LIKE TRAVELING WILLBURYS! Fast strumming on some electric acoustics dominate the song with the bass guitar playing in syncopation with the acoustics & more Sax! The hits kept coming of the album one right after the other. Hits like Meant To Be; Live and Shout It; Ain’t Religion & So What.
Killin’ Time advances the album after So What. The track begins with some bluesy guitar riffs that immediately made me think of the punk band Fidlar… The drums kick in with some Roland Organ synths that are reminiscent of old school Doors era. Not far into the track it pulls a 360 and begins to sound like a kick ass, Pub drinking song. At the end of the song lead vocalist John McCauley pays homage to his grandfather with a simple message “I MISS YOU GRANDPA!” After Killin’ Time came Blame. Blame has a lot of southern rock influences within the track its self. Instantly reminding me of 90’s Era Bob Dylan. Could this be it, could it be right? A Press Release that was spot on with its accurate description of a band? YES it happened! Clean begins kind of differently than the rest of the album. It begins with the sound of a creaky door opening and just before it shuts the music kicks in, complete with some more beautiful old school Roland Organ right alongside the guitar, bass & drums. This track sent me packing mentally, into a younger age back to some house parties my ‘rents would throw in their youth; blaring Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.” Motel Room ends the album as rocking as it began. And when I say rocking I mean rocking. This last track very much reminded me of Queens of the Stoneage, No One Knows & the Beatles Come Together.  But in a bluesy way.
It is in my opinion this album exceeded my expectations. It was everything the press release said it was and a bit more. If you like Punk Rock, Southern Rock, or even the Traveling Wilburys this be the album for you. It has a little of each per track, hurry out and get yourself some Diamond Rugs!
Review by: Jared Wingate
Soundcheck411 Rating: 8/10