More pub for John McCauley and the boys? Sure, why not, for the people have spoken and Deer Tick reigns supreme as Rhody’s gleaming Supastahs. ’Twasquite the sight watching Deer Tick watch themselves on The Late Show with David Letterman during a CD release party at the Met in October. NPR, Spin, and Rolling Stone continue to swoon over the dive bar ditties these guys concoct. Last year’s Divine Providence, DT’s fourth album in five years, and the first recorded in RI, is the most entertaining, brew- and-bloodthirsty of ’em all. McCauley’s tobacco-stripped vocals shine from the start on “The Bump,” sounding like a disheveled lounge lizard atop the twinkling keys from the band’s newest member, Rob Crowell. Drummer Dennis Ryan wails away on the singalong anthem “Let’s All Go to the Bar” (surely McCauley had his beloved E & O Tap in mind on this one) and takes over vocal duties on the precious “Clownin’ Around” and “Walkin’ Out the Door.” McCauley shines on choice cuts “Electric,” “Chevy Express,” and would-be albumfinale “Miss K.,” but stick around an extra 30 minutes or so and enjoy the payoff — “Mr. Cigarette” was penned for the band by Paul Westerberg. Howse that for some serious props?!
RUNNERS-UP F What Cheer? Brigade, Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, Brown Bird