Blues music is a fading genre. One could make the argument that revivalists still exist, but contemporary blues is almost mythical. Integrating the dirtiness and sincerity of such a genre isn't an easy thing to do, but Deer Tick's latest record Negativity explores every aspect of the blues, enveloped in an alt-country album.
McCauley's eager vocals float through lyrics pulled out of the New England backdrop of Deer Tick's homeland. These songs make you want to drink, dance and sing along. When a guitar solo kicks in, you can't help but feel it, as if the guitar were in your hands, crying the tears of the songwriter.
However, saying one specific instrument or melody leads a song would be a mistake. Each of these twelve tracks are passionate orchestrations, complete because of every dynamic and note throughout.
Before going into the studio, Deer Tick wanted to simplify the writing and recording process for Negativity, resulting in a feeling of truth and honesty without the stress of messier methods. Sure, the album gets loud and thickly woven, but the listener is never removed because it. A sudden, off-rhythm melody or an unexpected string arrangement never feels like a deviation from the path.
Singer-songwriter John McCauley modernizes aspects of classic rock, country, folk and blues. Deer Tick's Negativity helps listeners reminisce about such artists as Jackson Browne, The Band and Bob Dylan. That said, Deer Tick doesn't get stuck in the "revivalist" category prevalent in the music industry. This band embraces the past and welcomes its influence, but produces music so alive in the modern world.
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