Rhode Island rock band Deer Tick got its pun on with the title of this new record. Not only is Divine Providence a reference to its hometown; it’s a smirking remark cast at the group’s unholy collection of indie-country rock tunes. “I saw the light,” singer John McCauley mockingly proclaims on the first track, “and I ran like a fool!” This sets the tone for the continually irreverent, frequently intoxicated and occasionally introspective set of tunes that makes up the group’s fourth full-length effort.
Divine Providence is charged with a Git-R-Done attitude that lends the songs, most of which sound like they were recorded live, a fired-up energy. Band members feed off of each other’s eccentric shouts during the call and response of “The Bump”; the peculiarity of love as expressed in “Funny Word” is presented with raucous velocity; and standout track “Something To Brag About” flies by the seat of its pants from start to finish, detailing the thrills of new love. Deer Tick borrows from country, folk, blues and Americana, and winds up with a loud, rowdy, booze-soaked rock record.
While most of the especially electrifying tracks are up front, there are moments of solace, like the acoustic narrative of “Clownin’ Around” and the somber ghostliness of the ambient-guitar-heavy “Chevy Express.” What comes off as a party record at first sobers up by the end with the turned-up and heavy-hearted “Now It’s Your Turn” and the Rhodes ballad “Electric” before finishing with an upbeat ode to a dirty-talkin’ sweetheart on “Miss K.” Deer Tick shows off a level of versatility on Divine Providence, making for a record that will please long-time fans and newcomers alike.