Album Review: Deer Tick – Mayonnaise

Deer Tick provide the perfect setlist – in the shape of their new record. 

On 1 February Deer Tick will release a new compilation album entitled Mayonnaise – a 13-song companion piece to last year’s full-length albums Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2. About a year and a half since the band broke their four-year silence, Mayonnaise is a collection of songs that should be seen more like a really good setlist rather than a complicated album concept.

You know how when you go see your favourite band in concert and they play songs from their new album, last album, first album, and a few covers and you think it’s the best thing ever but you’d never think that putting all those random tracks onto a record would turn out to be anything decent? Well Deer Tick are here to prove you wrong.

The band explains: “On Mayonnaise, you’ll find alternate versions of songs from Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 that we feel have their own merit and wanted to share. We also decided to record some of the cover songs that Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 inspired us to play on our Twice Is Nice Tour. We had such a good time playing these covers live that it felt appropriate to document them here. And, lastly, if we are going into the studio, why not write a few new songs, record them, and give the fans something new to round everything out? So, here you go, this is Mayonnaise.”

But there’s new songs on Mayonnaise as well, don’t you worry! The Rhode Island alt-rockers kick things off with the very bluesy and adequately named Bluesboy. The intense guitar riffs will get you right in the mood for what else is to come.

Then they leap right into the first of three alternate versions from Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Limp Right Back gets a tempo lift and feels much more up-beat with a featherly light guitar melody swinging through the entire song. The originally slightly moody End Of The World is seeing a few synths added, giving it a seriously eerie feel – and we love it!

And then there’s a few new tracks, Old Lady has an old-school country tinge to it without being too George Strait and just enough Deer Tick. While Strange, Awful Feeling is just a gorgeous folk-inspired  ballad that delivers some great harmonies in the chorus. Hey! Yeah! picks up the pace and actually feels the most indie-rock out of all the songs on the album. It’s got some great Brit-Pop influences, too! Overall, just so so catchy – have a listen for yourself:

One of the most intruiguing tunes on Mayonnaise is definitely Memphis Chair, which is purely instrumental and for a little over two minutes is some of the best chill-out piano music you’ll ever hear.

Let’s talk about those covers –  some could argue that adding covers to a record is considered lazy but hear us out. You know you love a good cover as much as the next person, and who can deny the catchy melodies of The Pogues White City or Velvet Underground’s Pale Blue Eyes’ smooth attitude. Deer Tick take these songs and, without taking away their original magic, add their own.

Is this Deer Tick’s best album ever? Probably not. Is it one of their most fun albums yet? Definitely!