BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Releasing two records simultaneously may seem like a bold move, although when it comes to strategy and logistics, it can make sense. Rather than releasing a double album and driving up the cost, it allows listeners to make a choice without committing to far more than they’re willing to entertain. Deer Tick’s methodology is especially effective, in that it divvies up the material according to tone and treatment. One volume dedicated to more mellow fare and the other leaning towards rockier realms.
In truth however, the quality is consistent throughout both records, and while Vol. 1 tends to identify with folkier fare, even the uptick in energy spawned in Vol. 2 doesn’t diminish the melodicism of the music overall. Granted, certain tracks on Vol. 1 (“Doomed from the Start,” “Rejection,” “”End of the World”) lean towards a more nocturnal ambiance courtesy of wistful sax solos and tinkling keyboards, but even so, when they turn up the tempo on Vol. 2, the divide isn’t so wide as to lead to a disconnect. The upbeat songs reflect varied influences — Springsteen (“Don’t Hurt”), Petty (“Jumpstarting,” “Look How Clean I Am”) and even the Pixies (“S.M. F.”) — but even so, there’s no hint of cacophony or chaos. Not that they don’t let loose; closing track “Mr. Nothing Cuts Worse” is primal rock ‘n’ roll fleshed out with full abandon, complete with rollicking piano, strident guitar and a sax solo befitting the best ‘50s rockers.
Those unawares of Deer Tick’s five preceding efforts ought to make every effort to catch up. Likewise, those who appreciate the band’s quality and consistency will find Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 to be a perfect pairing, as compatible as their titles imply.
DOWNLOAD: “Doomed from the Start,” “Rejection,” “Don’t Hurt”