Punch-Drunk Splutter. Deer Tick, Divine Providence.

That Deer Tick's latest LP, Divine Providence be so effortlessly aligned with the sporadic lifestyle of a perpetually punch-drunk miscreant seems delightfully outré a manoeuvre from the Rhode Island collective and although it perhaps doesn't speak wonders of their native Providence, it's an accomplished stride in a rather dishevelled direction. Opener The Bump, an immediately choppy high-water mark, unites wonderfully wayward honky tonk pianos with lead vocalist John J. McCauley III assuring through the medium of slur: "One night with me is gonna mess you up", his band backing him up all the while as their squawking howls reiterate his every oath to inebriate. It's a puddle of bluesy, dusty blue-collared brilliance to drown every last pesky sorrow in and a darn inviting summons to get entirely obliterated with McCauley et al.

The filthy stomp of Funny Word is delivered from gin-licked lips, Wurlitzer drones combining with McCauley's persistent preaching of love being "such a funny word" before a heady delirium is reached on the crapulous yodels of Let's All Go To The Bar. Inciting underage drinking ("I don't care what daddy says you're coming out tonight: let's all go to the bar/ Pack o' cigarettes and a fake ID: let's all go to the bar") and indeed foolhardy inebriation irregardless of age ("I don't care if you puke in my ride: let's all go to the bar/ Baby just as long as you take your piss outside: let's all go to the bar"), he's going to the bar come hell, high water or "hurricane". Thus McCauley here purports to be the sort of boozehound you'd long to befriend yet loathe for your chaste young maid to even hear word of for once eyes were laid you sense he'd be getting just so as he claims to have enough liquor at home to continue getting sloshed "after last call", even continuing to suggest a cardiac arrest would be worthwhile return having "had too much fun." It's humorous and mouthwatering enough a proposition to upturn impressions of Americans all drinking from red plastic frat chalices and unashamedly divulging the contents of the stomach after a solitary shandy. It eventually descends into perceptible belching projected from said internal organ and a voice suggesting: "Let's go get drunk" and you can quite conceivably believe them to wind up in the nearest watering hole mere minutes after the track's completion.

However as happens to even the most seasoned lush, sensations of guilt and dejection follow such frivolous dipsomania and that is here reflected in the smart and in many ways insightful juxtaposition of Let's All Go To The Bar with the segueing Clownin' Around. It's the inevitable ensuing hangover; the grim reality; the coming to terms with internal issues that perhaps lie a little deeper in the cerebrum than the still-sodden recollections of the previous eve. In this instance McCauley gingerly evinces perturbing imagery of self-harming ("The icing needle kisses my veins/ As I kiss my dear sister goodbye/ Now as I descend into the final flames/ It's my turn to die") and the subterraneous seclusion of personified demons gives rise to quite poetic prose yet also a hitherto unexpressed disturbia. Alarm bells begin to clang with these confessional chimes echoing those perhaps heard in a particularly problematic Alcoholics Anonymous convergence however its carnivalesque outro reconnects Deer Tick with a sense of the (at least outwardly) jovial, as if to reaffirm the notion that no matter how many times McCauley et al. may get knocked down you can bet your bottom buck they'll soon be back up again.

Thus Divine Providence comes to immortalise the sensations descried before, during and after braincell-obliterating bender: from the pangs of paranoia detected within the aforesaid number to the unhinged elation and the accompanying recklessness of those to have preceded it, incoherency (Chevy Express) and insomnia (Main Street) also feature in an affecting album that is emotionally, gloriously aflutter. However in keeping with 12" tracklistings, Something To Brag About, initiated by a seemingly again well-lubricated McCauley offering intoxicated take on The Star-Spangled Banner, before screeching: "Johnny's got a bottle o' wine/ Nobody's gonna make it to work on time/ Oh why won't you set me free?/ Why don't the boss go ahead and just fire me?" brings new life as John again brings the liquor. Unstable as he may be in this position – and from a parental and/ or medical perspective it feels as though we've already experienced the predestined downfall – it's a rollocking pleasure to have him back on the sauce. The mood again of course slumps soon after: whether it be the schmalzy waltz of Make Believe that's buoyed quite bemusingly by sci-fi synths or stock-still ballad Now It's Your Turn, by the time they tap into Electric all energy has seemingly been sapped. Closer Miss. K is a little perkier although it soon puffs out. Or it would, were it not perpetuated in death by one of those infuriating hidden tracks last seen back in 2004 and just as you sensed Divine Providence may well have spluttered its parting words, it hocks and spits back into sozzled life for one final sloosh. Entitled Mr. Cigarette, it again finds McCauley in full sway, garbling: "Tar, nicotine! Tar, nicotine! Cancer, I die! Ho, ho, ho!" before the record fizzles out for a second time. However as far as raggedy hoedowns go, it's a fine way to cough and splutter one's last.

In amongst the blind stupor of this quite schizophrenic listen, Divine Providence may quite rationally be considered Deer Tick's finest effort since 2007's War Elephant and, if for whatever reason you're feeling down on your luck, here's one to at least temporarily turn things around. Let us just hope and maybe pray to Dionysus it's not autobiographical...