Deer Tick

Deer Tick is a band from Texas. This isn’t true, but pretend it is. They’re as redneck as they come–at least in appearance: Wrangler jeans, plaid, well worn t-shirts. Lead singer John McCauley sings with a conspicuous (and new) silver tooth, tattoos, mustache, and a full head of hair.

Rock star move of the night: McCauley (on top of the kick drum, above) kneels, picks up an open bottle of Budweiser with his teeth, chugs bottle-up-head-back, and replaces--all the while playing with both hands on his electric guitar.

But imagine rednecks who played really good music. Really good. All the brimming, just beneath the surface emotional volatility we assign to a stereotypical redneck, channeled through drum kit, electric guitars, bass guitar. Given voice in a raspy, nasally, syncopated bursts.

This is Deer Tick. Their music resonates with simple and compelling emotion. Crude? Perhaps. But their music cuts to the core. It resonates, reverberates, humbles and inspires. And, god, they’re good live.

(see the full song here:

They’re not an establishment band. They don’t play music particularly like any you’ve heard before–and no one else plays like Deer Tick.

Genre is no longer applicative–not to Deer Tick, and not to any other contemporaneous band that’s playing something new. Instead, let’s start describing a band with tags (or genres — plural). Deer Tick is indie–obviously–but then some mix of folk, country, and rock.

And, yes, they trashed the stage on their way out. Guitars were thrown. Drums were kicked. Glass was broken. And the crowd went wild.

About Mark Egge

Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a transportation data scientist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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