It is impossible to know which Deer Tick will show up this summer. Since forming in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2004, the band's only mainstay has been John Joseph McCauley III, and McCauley - a singer as gifted as he is guttural - is a man of various guises.
On US TV last year, he showed up clean-shaven, short-haired and wearing a bow-tie. A few months later, at London's Garage, he was long-haired, goatee-bearded and opening beer bottles with his teeth. So it is with Deer Tick's output: one minute they'll break a 'Goodbye, Dear Friend', the next they'll make radio-friendly pop such as '20 Miles', then they'll release an album – last year's Divine Providence – on which, as Pitchfork noted, McCauley had "belched loudly and called everyone a douchebag within the first 10 minutes".
Live, Deer Tick offer genuine rock'n'roll excitement. And there aren't too many bands you can say that about these days.
Playing: Summer Sundae Weekender, End of the Road