It's hard to say exactly what Brooklyn-via-Providence alt-country band Deer Tick's coolest claim to notoriety is: Hanging on NBC with Brian Williams, the undeniably fantastic cover to their debut album War Elephant (replete with enough girls and guns to make the late great Warren Zevon happy), associations with members of Dirty Projectors, Castanets, and Jana Hunter, or songwriter/frontman John McCauley's stunning mustache. Perhaps it's best to bypass the superficial stuff and acknowledge them for their musical merit. The group cranks out a rough-hewn hodgepodge of high lonesome twang, indie-rock tension, and crunchy, overdriven grunge dynamics, casting Ritchie Valens and Townes Van Zandt as the principal songwriters in Built to Spill, or coming on something like Vetiver with a wild hair and desire to "kick out the jams." The boys were breakout stars at this year's South by Southwest, earning Rolling Stone's David Fricke's appointment as "number-one breaking band." Deer Tick bring their ramshackle, unhinged, and domestic-beer-fueled stomp to Phoenix as they tour in support of their new record, Born on Flag Day.
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