John McCauley, the songwriter behind the Deer Tick moniker, grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he began his career by teaching himself to play drums, guitar, piano, and pedal steel. McCauley started recording his own compositions and touring the area while still in high school, and he widened his circle after graduation by touring the entire country. Although he’d often perform solo, the young musician began piecing together a proper band, occasionally playing as a duo with drummer Dennis Ryan or with a small group, eventually forming Deer Tick. With McCauley as guitar and lead vocals, Ian O’Neil on guitar/vocals, Chris Ryan on bass/vocals, Rob Crowell on keys and sax, and last but not least, Dennis Ryan on drums, the band was outfitted for success. The music fit loosely into the alt-country category, but McCauley’s vocals — rough, raw, and ragged — brought a wealth of rock and grunge influences to the sound.
Deer Tick is hailed, rightfully, for their raucous rave-ups and exciting fervor while performing. Deer Tick – sounding as sure-footed as one would expect from a band who have spent a couple of hundred nights each year on stage for more than half a decade – more than match the strength of the songs of present and past albums.