Deer Tick at the Garage
Deer Tick, from Providence, Rhode Island, played a sold out show last night at the Garage. Their style is a mixture of alternative country rock, with influences of blues and grunge.
Deer Tick have everything you want from an American alternative rock band: growling singers with thick accents, long guitar solos, impromptu high-pitched yowls, heavy drinking, and a singer who can take a beer bottle cap off with just his teeth.
The set started off slowly with The Rock, from the band’s debut album. It started with the frontman, John Joseph McCauley, sitting at the piano, chanting: “My love for you is all but new”. He was accompanied by soft guitar for a very sweet build up. Then suddenly McCauley let out a squeal, the drums dropped, the guitar kicked in, a saxophone added, and the song became an extended rock anthem. McCauley’s voice wailed with a deep, coarse twang to it. It was rough but with so much emotion behind it.
They played a range of louder, grungier rock songs, as well as some covers. The highlight was a cover of Buddy Holly’s Oh Boy. Fast-paced and loud, the song had other members of the band chiming in “ohs”. Let’s All Go to the Bar was reminiscent of Ramones, with endless heavy guitar, intense drums and McCauley’s shouting.
Halfway through the set, McCauley invited his wife onstage to sing the duet, In Our Time. McCauley’s wife turned out to be none other than critically acclaimed pop star Vanessa Carlton, of hit A Thousand Miles fame. No one would have guessed she was also an accomplished singer, as Carlton kept her eyes and body firmly pointed in the direction of McCauley, whom she appeared smitten with.
The song that most stood out was Thyme, which was unlike any other played. It had the drummer Dennis Ryan singing while playing drums, with accompanying psychedelic-style guitar solos, and darker lyrics about stealing oxygen and being comatose.
Deer Tick are a truly captivating band to watch; the audience loved them, and their rock never lost its novelty. They were even able to keep the audience’s attention through a lengthy five-minute “introduction to the band” jam session, which ended up with people crowd-surfing to an instrumental.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit Deer Tick’s website here.
Watch the video for The Rock here: