Deer Tick

From the band that’s been both accurately and inaccurately labeled just about everything this side of Top 40 comes a true-to-form rock-n-roll record. Scratch that, true-to-form is not Deer Tick’s style. Let’s start over…

Naturally, after so many years of critics praising [and making fun of] them for their “folk” and “country” sounds and hardly ever mentioning the fact that they’ve also recorded virtually dozens of other kinds of music, the band wanted to make a record that was truer to their live set (which has gained some notoriety): raw, loud, heartfelt, and completely uninterested in whatever the hell the rest of the music industry is up to.

To produce this record, the band recruited the team of Adam Landry and Justin Collins, who produced McCauley’s side-project Middle Brother’s debut album. The results are unlike anything you’ve heard on a Deer Tick album, but Deer Tick achieves something that is a lot more accurate to their live sound. Distorted guitars are aplenty, guitarist Ian O’Neil and drummer Dennis Ryan take lead vocal duties for the first time on record. Man, you can practically smell the sweat and the beer! Shit, you may even hear a guitar or two break somewhere in there! It’s got a little Exile, it’s got a little In Utero, it’s got a little Nilsson Schmilsson, but it’s 100% Deer-Fucking-Tick in their purest, and most carefree form… perhaps that’s because this is the first record they’ve recorded in their home state of Rhode Island… GAH!!! No need to over-think this shit!!! Moving on…

The songs are there. The delivery is in your face. There’s no studio magic. There’s no hiding the fact that Deer Tick is just five regular dudes. This record may rattle your thoughts, and it may make you think differently about Deer Tick, but at least they didn’t make the same album four times in a row, right?

The Bloom and the Blight is the work of a band that has matured and redefined itself, and the album is imbued with a palpable sense of personal catharsis. Opening tracks "Halcyon Days" and "Song of Songs" illustrate the type of build to explosion that's omnipresent throughout the album, and the prowling "My Love Won't Wait" - with a menacing chorus underscored by a pounding backbeat - is an epic, booming anthem. The gentler "Broken Eyes" - all voices, guitar, harmonica, and tambourine - has already become a fan favorite with its rousing, harmony-filled final verses, while the cinematic "Ride Away" soars on Adam Stephens' raspy howl and Tyson Vogel's relentless drumming. The songs have a dark side and a dynamic sonic heft, yet a sense of salvation and resolve courses throughout: an urgent, emotional poignancy stemming in part from Stephens' recovery from a serious van accident in 2010.
Produced by John Congleton (The Walkmen, Explosions In The Sky, St. Vincent), The Bloom and the Blight moves away from Two Gallants' more folk and blues-based past, representing the duo's ferocious live show and their past steeped in punk and grunge. The album simultaneously maintains the thoughtful storytelling and eloquent lyricism for which the band has become known, and contains gorgeous, quieter moments like the finger-picked ballad "Sunday Souvenirs" and the dreamy, unearthly "Decay" (the first Vogel-penned song on a Two Gallants album).
It had been three years since Two Gallants played together (Stephens released a solo record, We Live On Cliffs, and Vogel a self-titled instrumental album as Devotionals in 2010), and when they rejoined, The Bloom and the Blight materialized quickly. After writing most of the tracks and road-testing them on their predominantly sold-out Fall 2011 US and European tours, the album was completed at Berkeley's legendary Fantasy Studios and in San Francisco's Tiny Telephone studio.

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Deer Tick with Two Gallants

Friday, December 28 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Maxwell's

Off Sale