May 7, 2013
It’s cool that Speedy Ortiz are being cubbied up against influence from the Breeders, Helium, Pavement, Polvo and generally any 1992-era Western Mass buzz band whom the AS BUZZSound currently neighbors. It’d also be cool if we could all stop living in past gold soundz of indie / alt-rock and ease off forcing the new wave of peddle pushers under the same umbrella as luminaries two decades their senior. A fresh perspective and progress is the way music should carry on, and it’s also how Speedy Ortiz continue to prevail in carving a place to call their own in that realm. July 9th sees the release of their debut full-length Major Arcana, out on Carpark Records, and while its first listen “Tiger Tank” (a track they previewed live months ago) jostles with fragments of ‘90s noise and grunge, the Northampton quartet bends a chunky pop gum around its jaggedly cut riffs that soften and “pretty” any of the awkward wobbles their influences left behind as gaping holes the first time around. It’s a credit to cohesion since Sadie Dupuis mutated the solo project into a full band and began dizzying feedback on last year’s Sports EP, as her poetic wordplay winds wit with bittersweet haste around fellow guitarist Matt Robidoux circular cranks and the bubbling chug bursting out of Ferm and Falcone's rhythm section. At some point in their young lives, these four were (and may possibly still be) exposed to glossy pop-punk persuasions, and that's something many of their predecessors were often afraid or too proud to embrace toward the tail end of their careers. Obligatory Justin Pizzoferrato production credit reference aside, "Tiger Tank" does a lot to claw away these over-comparisons.