Deer Tick frontman John McCauley confounds the rock-country-pop categories in a way that sounds easy but isn't — unfairly tagged as raucous Americana devotees, the band manages to make ambition sound funny on its new full-length release Divine Providence. On last year's The Black Dirt Sessions, McCauley & Co. integrated Beatles chords and oddball lyricism into one irresistibly confounding package. If anything, Providence is catchier — McCauley tells song form to eat his dust on "The Bump" and adds power-pop riffs to the catchy "Funny Word." Meanwhile, "Chevy Express" demonstrates McCauley's feel for the way grimy reality meets reasonable expectations, with an innovative prosody that proves rock stars do pay attention to the devastation and dashed hopes they see around them. "Clues ain't there / The cops were square / Must have been an immigrant," he sings. Unsentimental but full of feeling — that's the way I like rock ’n’ rollers.