Jam of the Day | Deer Tick – Twenty Miles

Last summer, I saw Deer Tick open for Jenny Lewis, and the then unknown-to-me band covered John Mellencamp’s “I Fought Authority” with the intensity of The Sex Pistols. I still don’t know if that was a sincere gesture or more of a kitschy move, but as a small town girl who grew up near many pink houses, I was touched.

That was enough for me to get hooked on the band; it’s true that John Cougar brings people together. I found that Deer Tick’s 2009 release, Born On Flag Day, included the melancholic “Smith Hill,” in a bring-me-to-my-knees 6/8 time signature, which alone was worth the purchase of the entire album.

Now, the boys are back with the first offering off the forthcoming The Black Dirt Sessions. Lead singer, John McCauley’s vocals are naturally wearied, perfectly suited for his songwriting that is growing ever more inquisitively dark. (In fact, two new songs, “Christ Jesus,” and “Goodbye, Dear Friend” off the upcoming album feature McCauley alone at his piano, exposed and naked like he came).

“Twenty Miles” is the perfect yin to Deer Tick’s onstage punk-rock yang.

Deer Tick – Twenty Miles

The Black Dirt Sessions is out June 8, 2010 on Partisan Records.

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