Combining alt-country sounds with a backwoods garage energy, it was unsurprising that Deer Tick garnered a lot of attention, despite the relative lack of any revelations on records such as 2007 debut War Elephant or 2009 follow-up Born On Flag Day. The Rhode Island group’s Divine Providence (named after their hometown, if you don’t know your state capitols…) goes more towards the garage, for another fun if not outstanding release.
When Deer Tick want to, they can have ball, and it can be a strong tune, too. Single “Main Street” is some killer stark country-garage, while “Something To Brag About” channels early Replacements (QRO album review) in its rockabilly-punk – and how can one not love a song called “Let’s All Go To the Bar”? Not all of the rocks are gems, however, and when Deer Tick go sad, Divine comes up somewhat lacking as the spirit is missing (and the guitar solo breakdown on the otherwise country-sway “Now It’s Your Turn” doesn’t make up for it), with only final track “Miss K.” bringing a nice relax (“K.” is followed after a long, long time of dead air by a sloppy, jangly song in praise of cigarettes that also has a ‘Mats feel to it – but why do band still make people fast-forward for hidden tracks?…).
Deer Tick were never going to be a skillful, accomplished alt-country Americana outfit, so moving into the garage doesn’t cost them much in quality, while the quality of fun only grows. So let’s all go to the bar…
MP3 Stream: “Let’s All Go To the Bar“