Deer Tick | Negativity Review

Deer Tick has released their fifth full length album called Negativity and it’s a worthy successor to the band’s previous effort Devine Providence. Stylistically, Deer Tick could be considered a country band but when you really get down to it they are more of an old fashion rockin’ roll band with a bit of a country flare. Over the years this band has been able to produce some very memorable tracks that have enough nuances to allow for a continuing appreciation.  Take a track from their 2010 album The Black Dirt Sessions, When She Comes Home. This track features strong lyrical imagery matched with a very compelling hook. The way that it plays out allows for multiple listens without disappointment, not unlike a good radio single, When She Comes Home just grows on you. The same can be said for the band as a whole, all the gravelly vocal timbre and stylistic tone of Deer Tick grows on you over time.  

One of the standouts on their latest album is Mr. Sticks; it really touches on what makes Deer Tick a consistently excellent producer of music. This track, just like When She Comes Home, has a tight hook that is matched with emotionally engaging imagery, all of this creates an atmosphere within the song that is hard to achieve and rarely this well done.  This album has a grander vibe than previous Deer Tick albums. The explosive horn portion featured on the album’s first cut, The Rock, sets the tone of the album as though the statement being made here is: we’ve been doing this for a while now and if you haven’t been listening so far it’s time to do so.  Negativity overall is not as playful as Devine Providence, which ranged from a very lighthearted drinking song like Let’s All Go To The Bar to the rather dark track Chevy Express.  But it’s also not as sombre as The Black Dirt Sessions, which dripped with sadness and melancholy from start to finish.  Negativity is a good representation of what Deer Tick can produce, even though it may not be their strongest album to date.    


Fishboy | IMAVOLCANO 7” EP

Denton Texas natives Fishboy recently have come out with a follow-up to 2011’s Classic Creeps. Fishboy’s style of pop music is both lighthearted and imaginative. If you had to put your finger on what Fishboy draws musical influences from, you would have to picture the offspring of a union between The New Pornographers and vintage Sentridoh.  IMAVOLCANO, not unlike Classic Creeps, is a narrative however this EP is a bit more surreal than Fishboy’s last one.  The title and fantastic album art might suggest the story being told here is about a volcano. And if you want to take each track on this EP literally, it is about someone turning into a volcano. On the other hand, if you want to read into it a bit more it could be seen as a metaphor for smoking too much weed, being restless and a slight bit emotionally volatile. Regardless, IMAVOLCANO is a brief shot of energetic music that is worth a listen or two.  You can listen to it here

Wall | Shoestring EP

The London band Wall released an impressive EP a while back called Shoestring. It’s impressive due to the way it can be mellow without being boring and emotional without being sappy. The fine line that this band walks on their latest effort is made most apparent on tracks like Left To Wonder or Valentine.   These two tracks are the standouts on the EP simply because they both combine a moderately paced melody that works well with the imagery of the lyrics. It’s this calm quality which creates the distinctive atmosphere that populates the Shoestring EP and makes it worth the money to buy or time to listen to it.