Use Every Part Of The Deer Use Every Part Of The Deer

Use Every Part Of The Deer write earnest, heartfelt alt-country songs and, for the most part, their self-titled debut album is solid, if uninspiring, fare. However, occasionally the Ottawa group suggest they might be on the verge of something more impressive. "St. Apollonia,” the album’s second track, is a case in point. Two short minutes of handclaps, foot stomps and two-part harmonies, it’s both celebratory hoe-down music and, via the lyrics, a rousing attack on police brutality. "Blue Jay/Green Jay,” with its wandering vocal melody, is also a break from the ordinary. Unfortunately, much of the record pales in comparison to the highlights. "Sandbar” is the kind of jazzy drivel that could easily find itself scoring a TV ad for a furniture chain. Songs such as "Things Will Get Better” and "Ten Good Hours” are less objectionable but are also forgettable. Still, Matt McLennan is a strong lyricist, offering surprisingly cutting takes on urban living. If they start to experiment more stylistically, there’s a very good band here. (Independent)