Deer Tick, Restavrant and The Shrills at The Obser...

Deer Tick, Restavrant and The Shrills at The Observatory, March 24, 2013

The diverse lineup of Deer Tick, Restavrant, and The Shrills shook things up last Sunday at The Observatory in Santa Ana.

While the crowd was still trickling in for openers, The Shrills, those who did show up early were pumped for the psych punk quintet. All in all it was fairly difficult to distinguish one song from the next as crumpled guitar riffs fused with more crumple guitar riffs. I’d like to see what these guys can do when put up next to artists more akin to themselves.

[one_fifth][/one_fifth][three_fifth]Troy Murrah and Tyler Whiteside of Restavrant raised the bar for drum-and-guitar duos across the board with their distinct melding of country and punk, with tinges of electro thrown in for good measure. Backed by a danceable beat and Murrah’s string picking, “Joe D” really got the crowd going. Murrah growled into the mic with a unique charm while Whiteside banged out unrelenting rhythms on his mostly homemade drum it. My particular favorite was his cymbal made of old license plates and a tambourine.[/three_fifth][one_fifth_last][/one_fifth_last]

[one_fifth][/one_fifth][three_fifth]The crowd cheered heartily as the black sheets were pulled off two signs spelling out DEER TICK, making it hard to believe this show was on a Sunday night, rather than a Friday or Saturday. With a giant tub of beers on ice at their disposal, the alt-country group from Rhode Island set the pace for a raucous night. Frontman John J. McCauley III and his bandmates powered through some gruff Americana tunes, standouts including “Main Street”, “Born at Zero”, and “The Bump”.[/three_fifth][one_fifth_last][/one_fifth_last]