The recipe for Deer Tick’s Mayonnaise is equal parts folk, country, and rock. One of the most American sounding bands around; if you are looking for an updated take on Creedence Clearwater Revival, or you’re wishing Tom Petty had done one last record, then look no further. It follows last year's twin albums, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2; where the band split their divergent instincts for mellow folk and blasting rock into separate pieces. Mayonnaise spans that schism and the result is something different from the original ingredients.
The charm and camaraderie of the band, that they exude live, comes across on the record and you’re never far from a touchstone of classic rock. The opening track, ‘Spirals’, and the finger picked, alternate version of ‘Limp Right Back’ are blown away by a faithful and energetic take on The Pogues’ ‘White City’ that features Spider Stacy on tin whistle. ‘Old Lady’ has the feel of Tom Petty paying tribute to Bob Dylan, giving it a Traveling Wilburys vibe.
‘Strange, Awful Feeling’ is a Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac song. ‘Too Sensitive For This World’ sounds like Randy Newman or Cat Stevens, with a chorus that flips the sentiments of Jackie DeShannon’s ‘Put A Little Love In Your Heart’. ‘Hey! Yeah!’ has a Bellamy Brothers chorus over an uptempo, Bob Seger backdrop. The loungey piano chords and soft jazz saxophone of ‘Memphis Chair’ belong on a David Lynch soundtrack. ‘Doomed From The Start (Alternate Version)’ is a dead ringer for The Cake Sale’s ‘Some Surprise’ but with John MacAuley’s raspy tones replacing Gary Lightbody.
The album closes with a definite country feel as the band are joined by Spencer Cullum Jr. on the dreaded slide guitar. That minor slip aside, Mayonnaise is a very old fashioned and enjoyable album. Deer Tick aren’t a band I imagine evoking a passionate response from people but Mayonnaise is an album of quality tunes played with understated skill and lyrical panache. It’s the kind of record that inspires “they don’t make ‘em like that anymore” nostalgia. This is a band out of time; playing blues based rock from a period before most of them were born. If you like Americana and hate clichés, Deer Tick are your friends.
Mayonnaise is available to buy here.