Deer Tick, DCLA to double-team Flatbread

Deer Tick, from left: Ian O'Neil, Dennis Ryan, John McCauley, Chris Ryan, and Robbie Crowell. — Photo by Scott Alario

Monday, June 10, marks the return of Rhode Island rockers Deer Tick to the Vineyard, at Flatbread Company at the airport.

Since exploding into the college indie-music scene with the release of War Elephant in 2008, the group has released three full-length albums and a handful of EPs. Deer Tick’s current tour is in anticipation of their newest album, Negativity, set for release late this summer.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Deer Tick said Negativity hails back to the raw country-blues sounds of their earliest, and perhaps best-received, album. But don’t expect the boys of Deer Tick to merely repeat themselves — new tracks include a duet with Vanessa Carlton, as well as brass sounds from the Grammy-winning orchestra Grupo Fantasma.

Deer Tick’s live performances have earned themselves a reputation for being high-energy, noisy, and maybe just a little bit boozy. Doused with the pained, ragged vocals of frontman John McCauley, and often topped with instrument-smashing, the shows evoke something of grunge revival. (McCauley has cited Nirvana as his favorite band, and the group has been known to play entire sets of Cobain tunes under the alias “Deervana.”) And while there’s definitely an element of country-blues in the occasional twang of McCauley’s voice or picked guitar progressions, there’s nothing soft about Deer Tick. If it’s country, it has all the gutsy attitude of Johnny Cash. It has that unself-conscious punk-rock swagger that existed before anyone knew what punk-rock was. Deer Tick’s sound is as hard-bodied as the insect itself, and yet their melodies are still catchy enough to get under your skin.

Island favorites Dukes County Love Affair kick off the evening at 9:30.

Deer Tick with opening by DCLA, Monday, June 10, Flatbread Company, Edgartown. $18; $15 in advance at The Green Room, Alley’s General Store, or Aboveground Records. For more information, call 508-693-1137 or visit

Intern Kelsey Perrett, a 2012 graduate from UMass Amherest, is a seasonal resident of Oak Bluffs.