San Francisco’s gypsy rock quintet, Diego’s Umbrella is adding another notch to their belt with the release of their latest disc, Proper Cowboy. The Ninth Street Opus release features 11 songs that are generally up-tempo. “Trash Mexican Budapest” starts off the brightly colored album with the effect that a clock is ticking somewhere in the distance. Even with the ominous moments, specifically in the laughter, the piece ends on a high note with its speedy ending and ear catching chanting. The CD continues to be tread on the poppier side of the spectrum, adding some roughness where needed. Speaking of roughness, “A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done” is full of big, nasally vocals with an Old Western twist on the band’s vagabond sound. Diego’s Umbrella brings back the speedy instrumentation in “Richardson,” a swashbuckler that latches itself into one’s mind and also features nimble and brisk strings.

Diego’s Umbrella switches their sound up a bit with “Big Star.” The sixth number translates from having a fairly cynical tone in the verses to this light and magical chorus. “Tightrope” seems caught up in the sea of gold and rust colored glam that can’t find a way to stand out on its own. Proper Cowboy gets more cynical with “Bulletproof Shine” and “Moneymaker.” The funky guitars of both cuts and the smooth drums give the album more of a kick. The disc ends with a two-part piece titled “Amsterdam Pt. 1” and “Amsterdam Pt. 2.” The first of the two sends the ending marching into battle with its military style drums whereas the second part brings Proper Cowboy to a close with a deep brass intro, which later fades into a freeing ending with touching lyrics.

In A Word: Sharp

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