Deer Tick 

It's Sasquatch time again, which means we get the indie rock festival's scraps and ends. Luckily, Deer Tick isn't the kind of crumb you feed your dog. The Rhode Islanders arrive with the wind at their backs. They're touring on their 2011 album Divine Providence, smug from a Letterman gig and a packed Bonnaroo set last year. The five-piece occupies that weird space between rock and country that Bruce Springsteen made famous. It has all the essentials: singer John McCauley offers an unpolished voice and unabashedly dirty electric guitar ramblings, while the keys flirt with organ and synth behind a crashing rhythm.

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT ALARIO
  • Photo courtesy of Scott Alario

The Gaslight Anthem might have successfully melded the heart of country with the drive of rock, but they've grown too refined. Deer Tick finds its sound in a worn, wrinkled suit. They're the scuzzy riverboat band, making you sway no matter how calm the water.

Divine Providence is no crisper than past LPs, and the rough edges complement the raw center. There's a good sing-along in "Let's All Go to the Bar" (just guess what the chorus is) and a catchy single in "Main Street." We've heard this kind of thing before, but Deer Tick's songs are packed with such emotion that you can't dismiss them easily.

Deer Tick plays the Palace Wednesday, May 23, at 8 PM with Turbo Fruits. $15.

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