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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
American alt-country band, Deer Tick after last years’ twin complitation of Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are back with another collection. One that simultaneously looks back and promotes the band’s present day thoughts and some of their influences. This time the band have thrown in alternates and acoustic versions to go with cover songs. Snug in among them all is a peach of a vintage West coast country (rock) sounding track; since Cocktail featuring Spencer Cullem, Jr from Steelism is something Gram Parsons could have done, and be justly proud of. Lead singer John J McCauley like Parsons is new better than when his voice is shy of instrumental support and, his voice is the pivotal aspect.
Deer Tick run through a wide gamut of musical styles within the Americana spectrum, that is not to mention the moods that go with them. As thy ease through painstaking ballad The End Of The World on through the moody, bruising even Blues Boy, and mellow instrumental Memphis Chair. The latter enjoys both fine piano and horns. As for the covers you have George Harrison’s Run Of The Mill (damn good it is too) sat alongside the Pogues’ White City and The Velvet Underground’s powerful, seven minute plus epic, Pale Blue Eyes.
One of the finest, if not the definitive piece from lead singer, songwriter McCauley is Strange, Awful Feeling. The short but crucial drama is a five-star cut. With likes of acoustic track Limp Right Back and their exuberant version of White City and complex Too Sensitive For This World nicely whetting my appetite as McCauley’s heartfelt vocals are given excellent support from electric lead guitar, percussion. There are others of noteworthy attributes from the Providence, Rhode Island band, and given a little more time songs i’ll be revisiting regularly.
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