REVIEW: Deer Tick – “Divine Providence”

Deer Tick / Divine Providence / Partisan Records

While most have been fixated on the group’s Nirvana tribute project, Rhode Island’s Deer Tick have spent some solid time fostering their indie rock sound. In some instances, it’s dark Americana folk. At other times, it’s been blues, sweat and tears-alternative. But as Deer Tick’s fourth record Divine Providence explains, it’s all of the above, taking everything you’ve heard them echo in bars and across booze-stained fields and merging them together to frame their caricature. That image is a portrait of indie rock paying homage to its forefathers instead of causing an uproar about their inabilities; it’s where the band sits comfortable – “I need electric to get me high, but I don’t need your friendly smiles,” they declare on “Electric” – and aren’t craving to become an epic grandiose rock n’ roll thing with a guitar. The closer they get with fame, the more they pull back and chill out, as to them it’s a natural reaction.

Thus it’s why Divine Providence is courageous enough to unravel direct love tunes (“Miss K.”), foot-stomping, anthemic growls (“The Bump”) and blazing guitar runs (“Funny Word”). Whatever way you look at it, John McCauley’s never been more sincere. His bleak honesty authors tracks like “Main Street” and “Chevy Express”, letting his jagged voice speak with a bit more volume. When he bursts into the forefront, yelping to the rip of classic rock (“Something To Brag About”) and the blistering pace of melodies straight from the pub’s jukebox (“Let’s All Go To The Bar”), the impression left is almost concrete. That’s what sets Divine Providence apart from an LP like the fan-favourite Born On Flag Day; Deer Tick have always been in their comfort-zone, it’s just now their focused, and that focus is what’s helped them sustain a form of rock n’ roll that’s itching for a revival but is fine doing what the Kurt Cobains, Thurston Moores and Bob Dylans have done. And that is making sweet noise.

Download: “Something To Brag About”, “Let’s All Go To The Bar”


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