Deer Tick, 'The Black Dirt Sessions' (Partisan)

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The Black Dirt Sessions
Critical Mass
Label: Partisan

by Chris Martins

Wailing the bleak folk tune "Sad Sun," Deer Tick's John McCauley unwittingly describes his own band's sound: "Rolling around with no skin." On their third album, this Providence, Rhode Island band unravels dark, dark Americana blues, while McCauley plumbs new depths of raw emotion and utter despair. Black Dirt delivers sulky dirges ("Blood Moon"), alt-country hangovers ("Mange"), and funeral ballads ("Goodbye, Dear Friend") with equal aplomb, as their leader's bedraggled voice groans with hard-earned heaviness.

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