EARLY WORD: Bastards Of The Young

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Take a look at the cover art for Divine Providence, Deer Tick’s fourth album in five years. What the hell is going on you ask? Don’t think too much about it. What you see is what you get — there aren’t a whole lot of deep thoughts behind it. Hey, if that’s the way frontman John McCauley sees it, isn’t that the way you should see it, too? It’s merely a collection of cut-and-paste images that ‘just looks kinda cool.’ It grabs your attention, like good album art should. Keep that same mindset when you listen to the record. Don’t think too hard about about it. Although the album was recorded in the band’s hometown of Providence, the title isn’t a homage or for that matter a diss. It’s just the name of a song that didn’t  make it on the record — it’s kinda just there, like old bubblegum stuck to the sidewalk or the Vice President. Deer Tick just don’t care about your rule that album titles should actually mean something, should somehow tie the themes of the record together. Nor do they give a shit about your labels and your categories. Country? Rock n’ roll? Punk? Folk? Fuck off. It’s just music. Shut up and listen. Same with the lyrics — they’re just words. There is no profound symbolism, no deeper meanings. It’s just songs. Now you hear them, now you don’t. Sure, there are songs that will get stuck in your head (“Miss K.”), songs that are cool to listen to and play for your friends (“Clownin Around”). Songs about love (“Now It’s Your Turn”), songs about getting drunk (“Let’s All Go To The Bar”), being sad (“Main Street”), being a rebel (“The Bump”) – the usual suspects. That’s the thing. People assume that there is always an underlying message, a subliminal idea that you’re supposed to ‘get.’ “Don’t you get it, man? He’s talking about society.” Yeah well, there’s none of that here. Deer Tick doesn’t give a shit about any of that. So why should you? — TONY ABRAHAM

DEER TICK PLAYS HARRISON AUDITORIUM AT PENN TOMORROW NIGHT

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