Deer Tick, 'Divine Providence' (Partisan)

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Divine Providence
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Label: Partisan

by Steve Kandell

It was a wise move for John McCauley and company to shut down Deervana, Deer Tick's short-lived but much beloved Nirvana homage act, before it overwhelmed their "real" band. Especially since "Something to Brag About," "Let's All Go to the Bar," and anthemic, calling-card opener "The Bump" ("We're full-grown men! / But we act like kids!"), all raucous standouts from their revelatory fourth album, are actually the best Replacements songs in 25 years. There's a lot more Westerberg than Cobain ?in McCauley's ragged ?voice and loose-limbed commitment to boozy ?arrested development. More clear-headed moments like "Make Believe" and "Electric" provide relief, in both senses of the term.

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