February 11, 2014 - Carpark
In case you were living under a rock last year and missed Speedy Ortiz’s breakthrough album, Major Arcana, here’s what’s up. Speedy Ortiz are a sludgy indie-rock band who toe the line between meandering guitar riffs and perfect pop songs. Sadie Dupuis’ deadpan vocal delivery and subversive lyrics liken her to a young Liz Phair, but with a giddy punk-rock energy suited for sweaty basement shows. That energy is the defining characteristic of Speedy Ortiz, who sound like they are hitting their instruments so hard it’s a miracle the heads and strings aren’t breaking. On top of all this is a thick layer of fuzz that manages to break up just enough to let soaring melodies through.
So yes, Speedy Ortiz are great and you should be listening to them. Real Hair continues down the path set by their first two records and that’s a good thing. Moments are so blown out you might worry about your stereo breaking, but the songs are so catchy you’ll still want to listen to it loud. Dupuis’ dark lyrics come coupled with strong pop hooks that will have you humming along to some pretty fucked up stuff (sample lyric: “Who could’ve guessed you’d be down for a spell, blood out on a new bed?/Figured you’d know I would put the kid in me and wouldn’t let him go"). That’s the thing about this ’90s-indie-rock throwback that’s going on right now, a “genre” which Speedy Ortiz are undoubtedly lumped in with. There are some bands that are so good at it, it no longer makes sense to view them through the lens of nostalgia for their predecessors.