"Divine Providence" is the sound of missed opportunity. Rhode Island's Deer Tick has the potential to be one of the strongest folk-rock bands in the last decade, but "Divine Providence" seems more interested in reaching the bottom of a bottle and the end of a cigarette.
At the heart of Deer Tick is its founder, singer and songwriter John McCauley. With a distinctive, grizzled voice practically tailored to sing hard-luck anthems, McCauley is to Deer Tick what Eddie Vedder is to Pearl Jam. And yet, McCauley steps back from the microphone to let another band mate sing twice ("Clownin Around" and "Walkin Out The Door") on "Divine Providence."
Maybe you can look to one of the album's overall themes, of getting fucked, up for answers. "The Bump" and "Let's All Go To The Bar" are both punked-up odes to getting hammered and acting like an idiot. You can make mind-altering music under the influence, but this ain't that.
"Divine Providence" feels less like a cohesive unit of songs and more like an unfocused, rushed collection pieced together on morning-afters. Deer Tick and McCauley are young right now, and have plenty of years to get their shit together, but the flashes of greatness here, like closer "Miss K," frustrate.