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'Negativity' is positively devine

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

‘Negativity'

Deer Tick (Partisan)

★★★★ ½

After making an unprecedented four straight appearances on my annual favorite albums list, John McCauley's Deer Tick was nowhere to be found last December when the list was compiled. Of course the only reason Deer Tick didn't make the list is because they didn't release an album in 2012. We can't hold that against them. Looks like a new streak is starting in the wake of “Negativity,” the band's fifth gem in as many tries.

McCauley & Co. explored their rock side more than usual on 2011's “Divine Providence” to terrific results, but get back to their folksy roots on this introspective new release. It was a tough year for McCauley in 2012 (his father went to prison and his engagement fell apart), and he channelled that pain and heartache into “Negativity.” The 12-track release is darn close to perfect as Deer Tick shine on “The Rock,” “Just Friends,” “The Dream's in the Ditch,” “Mr. Sticks,” “Thyme,” “Pot of Gold” and “Big House.” For my money, this is the most consistently excellent band of the millennium.

Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-6649161, ext. 1952, or jsisk@tribweb.com.

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