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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deer Tick - Divine Providence....Lyme Disease Not Included. Maybe Tetanus Though....

FYI: the mustachioed guy with glasses had tetanus
One thing I've heard uttered more and more frequently is that there are no good rock bands anymore. Not true. Maybe radio stations just have terrible taste. That or they believe those of us that would like to hear good rock music don't listen to the radio. I'm gonna go with a little from column A and a little from column B. Believe me, rock is not dead. There are plenty of awesome bands out there you just have to look. I'll make it a little easier on one guessed it, Deer Tick! You are so smart for putting all that together.

Divine Providence is the 4th LP released by Deer Tick since 2007. The band consists of singer/guitarist John McCauley and a seemingly never-ending rotating door of accompanying band members over the years. Apparently John has more in common with Connor Oberst than just comparisons to Bright Eyes! McCauley is also involved in at least a couple of other side projects with members from other bands. There is Middle Brother (a personal favorite of 2011) with Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vazques of Delta Spirit. Then we have the recently formed Diamond Rugs which features members of Los Lobos, The Black Lips, Dead Confederate, and Six Finger Satellite. They just put out a sad new Christmas song to warm your soul for the holidays called "Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant." I guess it's only sad if it's you by yourself and not a take on the classic scene from A Christmas Story. "Fa ra ra ra, ra ra, ra raaaaa."

And there was my typical paragraph where I get sidetracked. Divine Providence isn't an album of music, by the way. All of their promotional work fooled us. Divine Providence is really a beer bottle thrown from across the room that smacks you in the head...and it is filled with music (sounds like a Flaming Lips promotional idea). If you haven't figured it out by the 3rd song titled "Let's All Go to the Bar," your bottle might have hit you a little harder than was intended. For me, things became as clear as the bottom of a pint with "Funny Word" Oh, and that funny word it's talking about would be love. "You ask me if I love you. Don't ask a question with such a funny word," McCauley sings/yells over driving guitar riffs and dare I say, some cowbell? We all know by now those cure fevers. Someone tell Walgreens!

Later in the album once the rowdiness calms down a skoch we come across what has become one of my favorite tracks of the year, "Make Believe." Tables seem to have turned from "Funny Word" and the trend continues through the rest of the album. It's as Deer Tick sneak attacks you and is sucking your soul out without your realizing it. Then about 3/4 of the way through it's so fat on all that was once good inside you it slows down and mellows out a little bit. I know music can affect us emotionally but is it possible for us to affect it? You an ACTUAL deer tick would suck blood and get fat off that.....

Deer Tick's 4th studio release is their hardest-hitting and, to me, best to date. ...Providence is full of alt, grungy, garagy, country, folky, bluesy rock at or near its finest. McCauley's voice in itself might as well be an instrument. Every adjective I just used for the band can also be used to describe his raspy voice. Don't get too lost in this or else you might miss the "I've Been Working on the Railroad-ish" secret song at the end of infectious closer "Miss K." It's not nearly on the level as Green Day's secret song from Dookie but the song's character is named Mr. Cigarette. So it's got that goin' for it.

Check out "Main Street" live on Letterman below.

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