If you like: Blitzen Trapper, Modest Mouse, CCR, Tom Petty, Dawes
Then let me introduce: Deer Tick
“Half of the crowd is here for Dr. Dog, but the other half is only here for Deer Tick,” said my guy friend/music twin at a show last spring. Though unconvinced to start with, by the end of Deer Tick’s opening performance, I was more excited to go home and download their full discography then to listen to the set of Dr. Dog–my actual favorite band. Fast forward and as reflected by the obscene play count numbers, Deer Tick has been the soundtrack of the past couple of months.
John McCauley’s voice is by no standards beautiful. But it’s the only voice I want to hear rasping through the lyrics of the bands’ three albums. Reviews of Deer Tick have thrown around the vague term “alt-country,” which confuses me. (If it simply means that this is the alternative to Brad Paisley then by all means I’ll use it.) But Deer Tick is a self-proclaimed rock and roll band, and I believe it. To have been 21-years-old when making War Elephant, McCauley proves himself to be a writer and a poet, not a “young fool” with too good of a life to be singing about such angst (as Pitchfork suggests). Good thing Pitchfork wasn’t blogging in 1962: Bob Dylan wrote and recorded his first album at 21, too.
Checking out Deer Tick’s purposefully outdated website makes me like them all the more. On the site, McCauley wittily explains their name, “It’s not like we’re advocates or parasitic arachnids, I just thought it sounded cool. I’d also like to note that I had never heard of Deerhoof or Deer Hunter until it was too late. Sorry guys.”
So, as I look forward to Deer Tick’s November date in Boston, it makes me wonder if maybe I should look up the opener before I get there.
Check out the rest of The Future-Favorite-band Series: