|Never a group to stand by conventional protocol, the celebrated Providence, RI quartet released two separate albums of original material, Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2. 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.
Deer Tick Vol. 1 showcases the folk-driven, roots/rock style with right amount of grit that Deer Tick is known for. Lead singer/songwriter John McCauley is a masterful introspective and observational songwriter, who documents inner struggles and external conflicts with a perfect balance of heartfelt sincerity and wry wit. The opening track, “Sea of Clouds,” encompasses all of what brought so many fans to Deer Tick in the first place, and also what kept them there. Guitarist Ian O’Neil’s “Hope is Big” and drummer Dennis Ryan’s “Me & My Man” expand on the group’s already dynamic range.