If Deer Tick's first couple of albums got the Rhode Island band branded as an alt-country act, their latest is a drunk leaning into your face and yelling, "You don't know me, man!" On a set of howling rockers, frontman John McCauley pulls a genre jailbreak as impressive as the time that Ryan Adams ditched Whiskeytown to pledge his love for Morrissey and electric Dylan. Gang-holler choruses recall guitarist Ian O'Neil's last band, Titus Andronicus; "Main Street" nods to a classic Rolling Stones album. But the unlisted cover of Paul Westerberg's "Mr. Cigarette" suggests the set's true patron saint: a punk-rock singer- songwriter who does as he damn well pleases.
From The Archives Issue 1142: October 27, 2011