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Deer Tick - Mayonnaise (Partisan Records)

Star rating: 
3

Mayonnaise seems to be an odd title for this collection of songs by Rhode Island band Deer Tick, that is until it becomes clear that this release of 'odds and sods' is intended as additional dressing for the main course, that being the band's previous albums VOL 1 and VOL 2 released simultaneously last year, as well as being a souvenir of the material chosen for their recent tour. This release includes alternative versions, one or two covers as well as some brand new material, including Old Lady, which sounds for all intents and purposes like John Prine channelling Hurricane Smith at Tittenhurst Park circa 1971. 

Of the songs the band chose to borrow from others for their most recent shows, George Harrison's Run of the Mill stands out. Originally from arguably the best of all post-Beatles' solo releases ALL THINGS MUST PASS, the performance doesn't quite match up to Harrison's passionate vocal on the original, but they have a damn good try nevertheless, in a Cat Stevens sort of way. The Velvet Underground's Pale Blue Eyes is also charming in its execution, with some slightly more inventive percussion replacing Mo Tucker's click track tambourine on the original. White City is pretty much a straight homage to The Pogues, though a take on Bert Jansch's reading of The Curragh of Kildare would have suited the album set better (in my humble..), if not the live performance. If Memphis Chair is to be seen as an almost throw away cocktail lounge instrumental, the bass driven Hey! Yeah! brings us back to reality with some vibrancy. Personally, the favourite has to be the return to Limp Right Back, an alternative take that sprinkles a little magic dust over all the other little odds and sods. 

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky