FRIDAY, JUNE 1
Providence, Rhode Island
Whether it’s tender lyrics layered over pissed off guitars or classical music flourishes delivered nearly naked and high, Deer Tick’s perfected it all. Mostly as an outlier they are revered by a legion of fans, respected by peers, but not part of any one scene. With their two new albums released simultaneously titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, the Rhode Island band prove that their punk-roots rock has only gotten better with age. Ambitious and smart, the twin albums complement one another but also stand independently. Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band’s longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk. It’s been four years since Deer Tick’s last release Negativity, and fans have grown restless.
Leadsinger/songwriter/guitarist John McCauley, guitarist Ian O’Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan— just weren’t sure they had anything more to share. When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, the albums are a bold double punch that reminds us why Deer Tick has been so missed and why they’ve become so important. The songwriting is masterful. McCauley wrote most of the tunes alone, but O’Neil and Dennis Ryan also make killer contributions. Self-aware and never self-important, McCauley excels at provocative lyrics that are sometimes confessional, sometimes accusatory. His compositions capture those internal contradictions that define us, like rock-and-roll “songs of myself” delighting in the multitudes and putting them on display.