Born On Flag Day - Deer Tick

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The likes of "Little White Lies" (lost love as spirit death), "Straight Into a Storm" (found love as rock and roll life), and "Song About a Man" (grandpa) translate perfectly into their long-diddled dialect.
  2. 80
    McCauley's time might just have arrived.
  3. Taken for what it is: strong folk leanings, with a sweet country shuffle, delivered with some of the best lyrics of the year, they all make for one brilliant combination.
  4. From its swampy backwoods grooves to its alpha-male protagonists, Born on Flag Day is a fundamentally, rivetingly nostalgic album.
  5. Born On Flag Day is sure to be slightly damned by Deer Tick's earlier success; it's no radical step forward, but McCauley was already on a good path. [Summer 2009, p.74]
  6. By sacrificing grit, some of the charm that made the debut a success is lost along the way, but the sleeker production is only a minor setback and some of the songs onboard are Deer Tick's best thus far.
  7. McCauley sounds no less lonely, staring down abandonment and death in gentle waltzes and country-rock rambles.
  8. 70
    As deft revivalists of “country” in all its forms, the four guys in Deer Tick are entitled to wallow. Luckily, though, their second album delivers doses of pop buoyancy.
  9. Mr. McCauley is a committed formalist and a defiant singer; he loves hating himself, and he’s thorough about it. His band mates (Andrew Grant Tobiassen on guitar, Christopher Dale Ryan on bass, Dennis Michael Ryan on drums) smartly give him room to gasp, but maybe he’s got a future without them as a Nashville songwriter.
  10. I want to stress one last time, post-catch, that these aren’t terrible songs, nor do they add up to a terrible album. But the net effect is nevertheless one of tedium and disappointment, a partial reminder of "War Elephant's" potential instead of an attempt to realize it.
  11. Unlike "War Elephant," which resembled an indie band’s stab at country, Born On Flag Day suggests a headlong dive into the canon, with little irony and varying results.
  12. His alt-country songs bristle with classic influences form Gram Parsons to John Fogerty to Steve Eerle. New dog, old tricks. [Jan 2010, p. 122]
  13. McCauley writes within genre, embraces its trappings, and emerges with completely acceptable results.
  14. 58
    The band is not exactly daytripping here and there is a great fervor in what they do, but the fruit is not quite ripe. [Summer 2009, p.102]
  15. Deer Tick's primary shortcoming is that the band evokes authentically gutty music from the past without noticeably inserting much of themselves into the equation, achieving superficial mimesis and comforting recognition while failing to put their own stamp on their creations.

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