Deer Tick: Divine Providence

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Deer Tick
Divine Providence
(Partisan Records)

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If you didn’t know the band Deer Tick is from Providence, Rhode Island, you may have mistaken the title of their latest release to represent, well, divine providence. But there are no meditative, spiritual ballads here about God.  Quite the opposite in fact.

The title actually comes from a “black metal song” with very “anti-Christian lyrics” written by drummer Dennis Ryan, that didn’t make the album cut. Divine Providence is the first Deer Tick album to be recorded in the band’s hometown.

Upon first listen, no songs particularly perked my ears, but as the band stated, “we wanted to make a record that was closer to our live set.” Indeed, the only flaw I see with this album is it not being recorded live, as the track sequence runs perfectly as a set-list in my mind. Still, nothing beats being there in the flesh, and I’m pleased the band took a different turn for this fourth album.

This album in two words: riotous and rowdy. Or perhaps two phases: the party and the comedown. Essentially this album oozes a good time, referencing drugs, booze and one-night-stands, but also gets into poverty, infidelity and crime–very similar to that eerie feeling one gets waking up in a dirty, gray city when, during the night before, everything was glazed by neon lights and hazed by alcohol.

The best track here has to be the closing hidden track, “Mr. Cigarette,”  which technically is a cover from Grandpaboy (the alter-ego of Paul Westerberg). The tune carries the melody of American folk song, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” and is the perfect closer considering that, at least for smokers, a cigarette tastes best at the end of any task.

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