12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After breaking through with a sound reminiscent of Replacements-era rock ‘n’ roll (right down to the drunken chaos), Deer Tick returns with Negativity. This album is so refined that John J. McCauley sounds like a different man leading a different band—on every track. “Mirror Walls” kicks into a conservative AOR guitar-organ sound worthy of Jakob Dylan’s Wallflowers. “Just Friends” sits down at the piano for a touch of Jackson Browne, while “Hey Doll” uses the same piano for a run at The Band. “Mr. Sticks” brings out a vocal style eerily close to Tom Petty's. R&B horns strike up the soul showcase “Trash,” while “Thyme” mimics the spooky blues of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Vanessa Carlton plays Tammy Wynette to McCauley’s truck-stop country singer on “In Our Time.” Lumbering hard rock blues (“Pot of Gold”) leads into the acoustic finale, “Big House.” With Negativity, Deer Tick achieves something truly unusual.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After breaking through with a sound reminiscent of Replacements-era rock ‘n’ roll (right down to the drunken chaos), Deer Tick returns with Negativity. This album is so refined that John J. McCauley sounds like a different man leading a different band—on every track. “Mirror Walls” kicks into a conservative AOR guitar-organ sound worthy of Jakob Dylan’s Wallflowers. “Just Friends” sits down at the piano for a touch of Jackson Browne, while “Hey Doll” uses the same piano for a run at The Band. “Mr. Sticks” brings out a vocal style eerily close to Tom Petty's. R&B horns strike up the soul showcase “Trash,” while “Thyme” mimics the spooky blues of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Vanessa Carlton plays Tammy Wynette to McCauley’s truck-stop country singer on “In Our Time.” Lumbering hard rock blues (“Pot of Gold”) leads into the acoustic finale, “Big House.” With Negativity, Deer Tick achieves something truly unusual.

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