Any attempt at actually narrowing down the sound of the Providence, Rhode Island,-based quartet Deer Tick ultimately comes up short. The fact the foursome often falls back on an alt-country approach may enter the equation, but equally important are elements of punk, grunge, and, on occasion, sheer, unapologetic sentiment.
Deer Tick's third effort to date, The Black Dirt Sessions, finds McCauley's wounded croon skewering the mood throughout, from the gentle sway of opening track "Choir of Angels" and the loping pace of "Twenty Miles" to the sprawling deliberation of "Blood Moon" and "I Will Not Be Myself."
It's been noted in the past that singer/songwriter/de facto bandleader John McCauley often comes across like an unholy blend of Kurt Cobain and Conor Oberst. But his emotional deliberations and sometimes goofy stage persona — it appears he's particularly fond of shedding his trousers — seem at odds with these serious comparisons. That's all the more reason to enjoy both sides of the band's dichotomy at Grand Central on Wednesday.