any attempt at actually narrowing down their sound ultimately comes up short,
to their credit, Deer Tick often seem to defy definition. The fact that they
frequently fall back on an alt-country approach may enter the equation, but so
do elements of punk, grunge and, on occasion, pure unapologetic verbosity. It’s
been noted in the past that singer/songwriter/erstwhile leader John McCauley can come across like an unholy blend of Kurt
Cobain and Conor Oberst, but with their new album, the intimidation factor is
revved up several notches.
brash defiance is evident from the first notes of opening track “The Bump” and
its initial stanza: “I got a lust for life/and a dangerous mind.” Likewise,
“Let’s All Go to the Bar” boasts a hearty singalong refrain that sounds like
Ramones attempting a drinking tune, and though it begins by rallying the
troops, it ends with the sound of someone apparently regurgitating the spoils.
And that’s just for starters. “You fucking douche bag,” someone mutters before
the players fuel up their frenzied attack on “Funny Word.” And when McCauley
sings on “Walkin’ Out the Door,” “We
ain’t taking that shit anymore/Hold your bullshit, I’m showing you the door,”
the intent is all too obvious.
later songs such as “Now It’s Your Turn” and “Electric” maintain that sullen
sensibility practically until the end, the sparkle and strum of “Miss K.” and
its badass chorus (“Come on, Miss K/ Wrap your loving arms around me, talk
dirty, turn me on, let’s get going…”) also indicate that for all their bravado,
Deer Tick crave companionship. Divine
Providence apparently isn’t a realm for the faint of heart, but those with
the verve to vent their all may find it a welcome retreat.
DOWNLOAD: “Clowning Around,”
“Let’s All Go to the Bar,” Miss K” LEE