What does it sound like?:
Deer Tick lean heavily on the talents of their frontman and songwriter, John J. McCauley. In his heart, he is a barstool balladeer but, after a few drinks, the band easily lead him astray into boozy, rowdy garage, out-ramshackling Pavement. A few more drinks later and he’s back on the barstool, swaying with Dylan Thomas maudlin.
Mayonnaise is their third compilation in less than two years (Deer Tick Vol. 1 is the better of 2017’s pair). It focusses on rarities, alternate versions and covers. They choose delicate flowers such George Harrison’s troubled Run Of The Mill and The Velvet Underground’s barely breathing Pale Blue Eyes to showcase their sensitive side. Ben Vaughan’s Too Sensitive For This World is, perhaps, taking it a step too far. The Pogues White City, on the other hand, is more wild and ragged. The one new original song, Hey! Yeah! falls somewhere between the two stools. Nevertheless, the thirteen tracks are a fun if schizophrenic listen, exactly as you would imagine Deer Tick’s world to be.
However, three compilations in such a short time is somewhat strange. The last album, their fifth, Negativity, was released in 2013. Have the songs dried up? Are they unhappy with the extra polish on Negativity? Do they want to revert to their charming guitar-led chaos? Are they clearing out their back catalogue with a view to making a renewed assault on the music business?
What does it all *mean*?
2013 was a momentous year for McCauley. He disengaged from a long-term relationship, married someone new, kicked drugs and alcohol and his dad, a Democratic politician, was jailed in disgrace for tax fraud. Perhaps, 2019 is going to be equally momentous but in a more positive way. A tour and a new album beckon. In the meantime, Mayonnaise is a good way to re-familiarise with the gentler, quirkier side of their oeuvre.
Goes well with…
A bar stool.
Might suit people who like…
Raw guitar music.