The members of this six-piece group are no strangers to the world of tours and albums – before all joining together as Diamond Rugs in 2011, they were all in separate bands, recording for 10 years or more. Lead singer John McCauley and bass player Crowell were once part of country-rock band Deer Tick who recently celebrated their 10th anniversary before deciding to part with the rest of the band after releasing their fifth album Negativity in 2013. The other members of Diamond Rugs were members in punk-rock bands such as Black Lips and Six Finger Satellite, both of whom have been around for rather a few years.
Having such an eclectic mix of musicians from different genres and backgrounds helps to set the foundations for an album with lots of different and experimental sounds, with both rock ’n’ roll and indie influences, as well as the inclusion of some sounds that the members grew up listening to. This is evident in the opener ‘Voodoo Doll’ which presents itself as a pop/rock hit with a lot of loud guitars and singing from McCauley, but also incorporates a bit of jazz with a saxophone, and is a statement throughout most of the album.
‘Live and Shout It’ brings out the country roots within McCauley and Crowell in their days of Deer Tick as it’s being sung with a Southern accent and with lots of guitars, making it really catchy and will have everyone tapping their toes or clicking their fingers to the beat, unable to get it out of their heads for days. ‘So What’ is definitely showcasing the punk rock that the members of Black Lips and Six Finger Satellite were playing, as its heavy guitars and powerfully sung lyrics are portraying the messages of punk rock, about rebellion and not caring about what other people think.
‘Killing Time’ is definitely a song that could be straight from the glam ock era of the late 1970s, with the strange sounds and pop beat, but there’s a twist: a huge guitar solo, which is the only one on the album and lets the song down, as after that it’s 2 minutes of mostly the chorus “killing time” repeated over and over. ‘Motel Room’ has slow guitars and a strong jazz influence, with a lot of saxophone but not very engaging or memorable lyrics, like they wrote and recorded it in 10 minutes.