Back in April, we profiled Deer Tick, the brainchild of John J. McCauley III, a native Rhode Islander with some serious Hank Williams hero-worship and a knack for hard living. At the time, he spoke of his band's forthcoming album, Born on Flag Day, saying "Anybody who liked War Elephant [Deer Tick's outstanding 2007 album] is going to like this [new] one a lot. I think a lot of the people who didn’t like War Elephant are going to like this one too. It sounds different, but in a very good way. It sounds alive.”
One problem, though: we hadn't heard Born on Flag Day at that point, so we couldn't really comment on it. Now we have. And we're pretty sure McCauley is right: Born on Flag Day refines rather than reinvents Deer Tick's snarling, bluesy country, while still sounding ever-so-slightly more accessible to newcomers. It sounds a bit more like Dylan than War Elephant did - "Friday XIII" in particular - but it's a welcome development. McCauley told the Phoenix that this would sound a lot fuller and the energy of the quartet would come through on record (as opposed to War Elephant, which was mostly a solo affair), and he is right; there's some badass guitar solos here, plus string arrangements and things like that.
We'll have a lot more on this band in the next week or so, but in the meantime you can download "Easy" below. Deer Tick opens for Jenny Lewis tonight at the HoBo.
LISTEN: Deer Tick, "Easy" (mp3)