Year of the Album — #077
Deer Tick – “Divine Providence” (2011, Partisan Records)
Like their namesake, this is a band which digs its musical pincers into your skin and hangs on for dear life. Combining folk, blues and country into a combination that rocks like nothing else, they’re the best rock act to come out of Rhode Island in … well, ever when you get down to it. Anthems like “Let’s All Go To The Bar” echo the Dropkick Murphys aesthetic, and the entirety of Divine Providence comes together as a full-on blitz, with no wasted moments allowed to get in the way of forty minutes of alternative eccentricity. That’s not to say they can’t slow things down; “Clownin’ Around” is a particularly tough nugget to pin down, with guitar, vocals and what sounds like a Fender Rhodes, slowing things down as John McCauley sings of hiding the devil in his basement and attempting to control his darker urges. But it’s “Main Street” which proves to be the band’s finest attempt at a potential single on this album. Opening with drums and straightforward guitar chords, McCauley’s raw vocals, just on the edge of a growl without losing the melody, make the song a true keeper. This isn’t weighty rock that defines a generation or makes any grand statements. Deer Tick simply rocks, and more often than not, that’s more than enough.