Deer Tick

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

War Elephant

Partisan

When you get a CD with two girls wielding machine guns, you don’t really expect a folk band that sounds like Simon and Garfunkel. But that’s what the opening chords on War Elephant sound like — “The Boxer,” one of the ’70s seriously underappreciated tunes. Deer Tick surprises track after track — the clear vocals revolve between John Joseph McCauley III, Andrew Grant Tobiassen, and Dennis Michael Ryan. Only the guy on the stand-up bass, Christopher Dale Ryan, stays off the mike. With the relatively thin arrangements, the music emphasizes the gritty quality of a roadhouse band that tours in a truck that’s just as likely to get them to the show as to leave them stranded 50 miles outside of Tucumcari. In fact, that’s one of their songs — “These Old Shoes” features exploding engine blocks and the need to keep a spare pair of Keds in the trunk. Deer Tick suffers from an awkward name and 4 guys who really, really need better nicknames. Other than that there’s no flaw in their sound, it’s just pure lonesome country populated by disastrous relations, the kind we all prefer to listen to, even if we’ve lived through them already.

Deer Tick: www.deertickmusic.com • Partisan Records: www.partisanrecords.com

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