June 30, 2009

Deer Tick: croaky, cigarette-fueled folk-rock

John McCauley, the 23-years-old singer and lead songwriter for Providence, Rhode Island band Deer Tick, has a raspy and kicked-around drawl that probably feeds off packs of Marlboro Reds. McCauley and his young band—who sound as harsh and gritty as a group of 40-year-old convicts—play a loose and almost traditional style of rock and roll that rides along steam engine rhythms, guitar licks, and introspective lyrics. Even NBC anchor Brian Williams gave the band his stamp of approval on his internet show BriTunes a few months back. It was well deserved. The band's second full-length, Born On A Flag Day, is a hard-nosed fistful of folk-rock—it's best yet. The dirty electric guitar on "Straight Into The Storm" paired with McCauley's vocals sounds like band mates from Creedence Clearwater Revival or the Drive-By Truckers throwing together their best ode to "Johnny B. Goode." It's as smoldering as it is ragged and loose. Even "Friday XIII," a boozy shuffle of a duet shared with fellow Providence songwriter Liz Isenberg, feels more like a punch in the gut than a love song. Like a spilled beer on a kitchen floor, Born On Flag Day is a record that has a habit of sticking around.

Deer Tick - "Friday XIII" (from Born On Flag Day)
Deer Tick - "Straight Into a Storm" (from Born On Flag Day)

Deer Tick

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