Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Speedy Ortiz on a roll

A few months ago, Otis asked me to think about reviewing some self-release-ish/EP-ish type recordings from Speedy Ortiz, a semi-local (guitarist Matt Robidoux is from Keene, the rest from Northampton and thereabouts) punk-pop-noise-math foursome already making some waves. (You get the irony that Otis, who lives in Brooklyn, had to tell me about a local band, right?) Anyway, I reviewed the first three recordings when hardly anyone was interested, but since then, they have started to gain some traction. For instance, they got an 8.4 and Best New Music from Pitchfork about a month ago. So now, with the Dusted hiatus and all, I am actually a little late to proclaim my admiration for Major Arcana. It came out last month. It's a monster.

My Dusted review runs today. Among other things, it says:

Speedy Ortiz, the Western Massachusetts foursome fronted by Sadie Depuis, power blasts through its debut full-length with an unsettling combination of force and vulnerability. Major Arcana is simultaneously cleaner and denser than earlier EPs, its parts blistered with distortion yet easily audible as separate elements. An early 1990s fascination with wandering hooks, loud-soft shifts, disconsolate lyrics and dissonance swathed melodic hooks continues to make comparisons to Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. apt, yet the fizzy exuberance of the choruses (though buried in fuzz) is more like The Breeders. Depuis, in particular, is a volatile and fascinating performer, singing softly, sardonically, knowingly in the spaces between firewall blasts of volume, or picking her way carefully among sharp-edged, off-kilter constructions of post-rock guitar.


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