ALBUM REVIEW: Somewhere in-between a white trash hero and flippant grandpa boy is what indie folkster John McCauley has been repainting. Deer Tick is the story of American Gothic recovering from a binge. If the Deervana stunt is any evidence. He’s literally wearing and proud of his choice of flannel rock. I’ve always been a fan of the music coming out of Providence RI, it’s always a little dark and pleasantly seedy. I think they have more Go Go Bars per square mile in their city limits juxtaposed against the art school RISD. Of course right? So is the album title Divine Providence ironic? Facial hair management may not have something to do with this combo but this band has soul and in the end it’s a simple formula. This music is the kind of thing that happens in Edge City’s like Providence, RI.
“We’re fucking men but we act like kids, We’ll Face the music next time we roll-in” – The Bump
The rock meter on this record falls somewhere in the neighborhood of The Hold Steady side of a true american bar bands and les affaire back porch of Uncle Tupelo. No flash. No real Posers. No bullshit. The exit sign here always flickers and welcomes you in. These tunes squeak authentically which at times means it’s sloppy and purposely under produced giving it that twinkle of drunken hopeless charm. Leading-off with “The Bump” it reminds me of some juke joint where PBR is the top shelf and there are no labels on the vodka you recognize but there are plenty of badly cut trucker rails being shared in the bathroom. I’ve been to this bar akin to something like The Plumb St pub in New Brunswick NJ that closes at 4am and opens at 6am for the knight workers. I don’t really want to go back but I’m glad these guys are telling me about it again. Somebody needs to experience the night ending with the sun coming up when everything looks blurry but I don’t need my eyes to hear that. The music’s all right here.
Baltimore Blues No. 1 MP3 by Deer Tick from War Elephant (2008)
Something about that sound man:
Hot Soft Light MP3 by The Hold Steady from Boys and Girls in America (2006)
Whiskey Bottle (live Acoustic) MP3 by Uncle Tupelo from No Depression (1990)
Drug Train MP3 by Social Distortion s/t (1990)
Can’t Hardly Wait (Tim Version) MP3 by The Placements from Tim (1988)