Even though Deer Tick has put out its fair share of heavier, up-tempo rock songs in the past, it was best known for its slower, more acoustic-laden ballads. For its fourth full-length, Divine Providence, it delves into its inner punk while revealing the darker side to the rock star lifestyle.
Guitarist John McCauley perfectly portrays a dichotomy of nights of excess and mornings of remorse. “Let’s All Go To The Bar” conjures images of a band in a decrepit van, running a red light to make it to its gig.
Dive Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars
McCauley regrets his overindulgences, which he makes obvious in the sorrowful, slower ballads. These songs not only serve as McCauley’s outlet to bare his soul and acknowledge his demons, but they give a contrasting balance to the faster tracks.
For “Clownin Around,” drummer Dennis Ryan takes over the songwriting and vocal duties, but the song still stays in the grim vein of the others. The band falls back on the alt-country roots for this number, with an acoustic guitar providing the main accompaniment, as Ryan sings.
On first listen, it’s easy to disregard this album as simply songs that follows a formula that’s been done a million times. There isn’t one song that really stands out, but with subsequent listens, it becomes apparent that Divine Providence is a collection of songs that complement each other beautifully and allow these songwriters to romanticize and lament the melancholy life of a rock star.
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