Deer Tick – “The Rock”

Deer Tick - Negativity

Deer Tick has been a site favorite since being featured in 2007, back when it was primarily the solo project of authentic folkie John McCauley. Since then Deer Tick has been joined by a number of accomplished musicians, who inject even more life into McCauley’s riveting folk songwriting. Deer Tick just announced a new album, Negativity, due out 9/24 (US) / 9/30 (UK) on Partisan Records, and the build-up “The Rock” is our first peek.  Creaky keys bounce off a tinny acoustic guitar to start things out, and McCauley’s signature croon creeps forward as organs float distantly in the background. The Soundcloud visualizer gives away the fact that, at the 01:08 mark, the track jumps into explosively frenetic territory where organs become a prominent fixture over a livelier rhythm section. The build-up seems imminent even without the graphical indicator. The flourishes of brass mid-way through the song’s second part, however, are a surprise — and a pleasant one at that. Weeping strings provide a final punch to the gut. “The Rock” is an elaborate, thumpin’ rocker from Deer Tick. If it’s any indication of Negativity, we have a treat on our hands. Several pleasant cameos on Negativity include horns from Grupo Fantasmo and a duet with Vanessa Carlton.

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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