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Deer Tick

The Black Dirt Sessions




Released: June 8, 2010
Label: Partisan Records
Myspace: /deertick


By: Mallory Love

A deer tick can cling on and sink in. The parasite must be gotten rid of in order for the person-"victim"- to flourish. In the case of Deer Tick, the band, it is a great pleasure to have them cling on and sink in.

"The Black Dirt Sessions" is their newest album, released June 8th, 2010, which exceeded my expectations. Their simple, soothing sounds of the instruments seem to be deeply entangled with their emotional vocals. Something as common as a groan in the song, "Goodbye Dear Friend" or "I Will Not Be Myself" becomes an entirely new exhilarating experience. Along with these groans comes the hauntingly pure sound of a girl accenting John McCauley's grainy voice in "Sad Sun", making this one of the most intriguing songs of the album.

John McCauley has an old time quality in his voice, similar to Tom Petty or Adam Stephens, lead vocals of Two Gallants. Some of the lyrics used in this album reflect the simplistic attitude of rock bands from the past. "I think of your smile, I'm in love with your teeth," is a lyric taken from "Twenty Miles", the second song of the album. It is a strange, but beautiful new twist on the ordinary love song lyric. But do not underestimate this new album; it is not all laid back love songs. By the middle of the album the pace is broken with the song "Mange" and its upbeat, electrically charged instruments, setting a new standard for future Deer Tick albums.

Deer Tick did not disappoint with their newest compilation and so we, as the listeners, should not disappoint them by discarding "The Black Dirt Sessions" as dirt. It is far from that and deserves our ears. I am sure that by listening to this album, Deer Tick will manage to cling on and sink in, deep into our hearts and minds as one memorable band that will be around for years to come.