The Black Dirt Sessions

Deer Tick - The Black Dirt Sessions
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2010 Ratings: #651 / 855
User Score
Based on 4 ratings
June 8, 2010 / Release Date
LP / Format
Partisan / Label
Folk / Genres
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Drowned in Sound

I remember when Rock Music belonged to the popular kids. It was all bold statements - Beautiful Girls, Final Countdowns and Flaming Youth. In the age of 300+ channel television, auto-massage armchairs and perhaps even The National, one thing’s become abundantly clear: the decapitalisation of rock is in full swing.


From the sound of "Choir of Angels", the opening cut from roots rockers Deer Tick's The Black Dirt Sessions, you might think that frontman John McCauley has found some much-needed salvation. Still very much an old soul, his weathered vocals and done-me-wrong worldview has put him in league with characters who have been around much longer than McCauley's 24 years. "The lonely road is behind me," McCauley sings over a melodramatic organ on the doo-wop tinted track, and there's convic

tion in his words. It sounds like a pretty nice place to be.


John McCauley, the mastermind behind Rhode Island’s Deer Tick, always sounds like he’s straining himself. The parts he gives himself to sing rarely breach the vocal range of the shower-singing average Joe, and yet, every word he’s ever put to tape comes through my speakers like sex groans through a desk fan. I’d understand if that were just the way his voice was, but the heroic steadiness of his grungy whine makes it sound like he’s working to get there. It’s not a dealbreaker, but either you like it, or you don’t.

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Track List

  1. Choir Of Angels
  2. Twenty Miles
  3. Goodbye, Dear Friend
  4. Piece By Piece And Frame By Frame
  5. The Sad Sun
  6. Mange
  7. When She Comes Home
  8. Hand In My Hand
  9. I Will Not Be Myself
  10. Blood Moon
  11. Christ Jesus

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