Deer Tick “Mayonnaise” (Partisan Records, 2019)

Deer Tick, the mercurial Rhode Island indie outfit, have long been multi-labelled with Rock/Folk/Blues/Country tags but they don’t feel they have the drawl for the latter. Well my Providence friends, this is Americana UK, and you gentlemen are Americana at its finest, whether you like it or not. This latest release is proof once more, that this genre is a multi-faceted and exciting one and, in ‘Mayonnaise’, is being finely represented.

The opening is pure lo-fi raw attitude and the build-up and subsequent guitar solo are enough to make anyone form the international hand symbol for rock and furiously bob their heads like Beavis and Butthead. What follows though is a bounce around sub-genres that rarely fails to surprise and delight. If anything draws them together its not the sometimes sparse but supremely confident instrumentation, nor the divine instrumental breaks that just work, but rather the sheer quality and professionalism with which they handle the demands of each style. This is musical tapas – many, small dishes that alone may not fully satisfy, but once the whole meal has been devoured, then devoured again, you’ll be in danger of having to be airlifted from your house as you won’t fit out of the door. The songs skip along at a rate of knots, short, stark and splendid in every detail.

From the relaxing jazz instrumental ‘Memphis Chair’, which calls to mind Lambchop in places, to the rich familiarity of ‘Too Sensitive for the World’, each moment is fresh and demanding. Even if variety isn’t your thing, you’re sure to find something to please on this varied and inventive record. No barrier-breaking, clever arrangements and few frills, this is a record for people that like to take genre, whether we call it rock, Americana or (heaven forbid!) country, and tell it to keep up or get left behind. Highly recommended pot-luck splendour.

Short, stark and splendid in every detail
9/10

Author: Phil Grant

Writer with an interest in music, performance, mythology, leadership and psychology

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