sun 23/07/2017

CD: Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer

CD: Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer

A third album worth shouting about from US indie rockers

Frontwoman and songwriter Sadie Dupuis’ wordplay has never been stronger
'Foil Deer': "powerful feminist themes and dirty, grungy guitar work"

To let you understand the spontaneous grin that burst across my face when I first heard Foil Deer probably needs a little context: I studied, and now have a job involving, corporate law. Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that the powerful feminist themes and dirty, grungy guitar work form only part of the reason that Massachusetts indie rockers Speedy Ortiz’s third album is such a fantastic listen: frontwoman and songwriter Sadie Dupuis’ wordplay has never been stronger. The line that made my day, since you ask, was “we were the law school rejects so we quarrelled at the bar instead” - and “The Graduates”, the song that it is taken from, is one that I keep coming back to.

There are are lots of tracks like that on Foil Deer: songs that pay lip service to all the best US bands of the Nineties (I hear snatches of Pavement here, of Veruca Salt and even, on “Puffer”, a little bit of Nine Inch Nails) while at the same time doing their own confident, cohesive thing. And so the woozy, laid-back slacker guitar on “Homonovus” bleeds into “Puffer”, with its industrial-leaning swagger, by way of a discordant punk nightmare of a chorus; and that song’s self-assured “god of the liars” will still let her vulnerabilities show.

But if Foil Deer has a theme it’s of one of taking ownership of yourself and your happiness, cutting out the ones who don’t have your back and refusing to settle for second best – while, at the same time, refusing to take yourself too seriously. Tracks like “Raising The Skate” positively dare you not to sing along, in this case to a no-nonsense refrain of “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss”; and “Swell Content” is proper fingers-in-your-ears-shout-the-world-out stuff. The album’s sweeter moments may be buried under fuzz and distortion, but that’s only ‘cause baby’s as good with a blade as she is a pop hook.

Overleaf: hear "Raising the Skate"


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