If The Replacements and Spoon had a love child, it would be Deer Tick. On their fourth and most recent album, Divine Providence, the indie band from Rhode Island sheds its alt-country, folky roots in favor of a punky, garage band sound.
On the first single, the rowdy "Main Street," John McCauley croons like Paul Westerberg over Ian O'Neil's abrasive guitar and Dennis Ryan's heavy drum beat that's reminiscent of The Ronette's "Be My Baby."
I can't sleep, I can't close my eyes
Blinked one second, the whole world pass you by
Yeah, I guess I'm in
All the days you spent
I can't eat, I can't use my mouth
Miss one day and the whole world cast you out
Yeah I guess I try
All the times a lie
"This song is about quitting drugs and not wanting to grow up," McCauley said. "I wrote it in one sitting to spite one of my closest friends."
According to Cecil Thyme, Divine Providence "has a little Exile [on Main Street]; it's got a little In Utero; it's got a little Nilsson Schmilsson, but it's 100% Deer-Fucking-Tick in their purest, and most carefree form....The songs are there. The delivery is in your face. There's no studio magic. There's no hiding the fact that Deer Tick is just five regular dudes."
Since the band's formation in 2004, it has undergone several incarnations. The most recent line-up is:
John McCauley - guitar, vocals
Ian O'Neil - guitar, vocals
Chris Ryan - bass, vocals
Rob Crowell - keys, saxophone, vocals
Dennis Ryan - drums, vocals