Deer Tick's John McCauley came into Mountain Jam 2013 with what you might call PMA: positive mental attitude.

"I had a good feeling people would show up, even though the weather is not so great," he said Friday afternoon (June 7), as he looked out over a cruddy, muddy field loaded with poncho-clad peeps.

What did these intrepid rock fans get for their trudging? A little 'Negativity' to go with the positivity, as Deer Tick previewed songs from their forthcoming album of the same name. The group has described its new record as darker than past releases, though the brand-new 'The Dream's in the Ditch,' aired midway through Friday's set, is hardly a maudlin ballad. In fact, it sounds like Elvis Costello's '(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,' showing just how far this Rhode Island crew has come since it's largely acoustic early days.

Now, when they really get rocking, these erstwhile folkies skew awful close to punky Americana, and before their Mountain Jam time was up, they'd also covered Nirvana's 'Breed' and the Replacements' 'Can't Hardly Wait.'