So Speedy Ortiz have quit their day jobs and joined the full time drudge of tour/ record/repeat. After four excellent records ranging from orthodox lo-fi to comparatively polished alt-rock, it seems that they’ve paid their dues.
Foil Deer, their second full length, sees the band lock down their sound into something that is uniquely their own, yet fluid and changeable: a knot of duelling guitar riffs and background noise that, once untangled, is as strong as many of the oft-deemed untouchable records of their 90s forbears. Swell Content recalls a fuzzier Weezer (NOT Pavement, crucially), whereas Puffer sees a thus far unseen foray into 00s pop: sleek, well-crafted and insistent. Likewise, My Dead Girl sees a chorus which is only a stone’s throw away from this era, although is set apart by its somewhat dark subject matter.
Indeed, perhaps the most ‘Speedy Ortiz’ of the Speedy Ortiz songs here is first single Raising The Skate, which wouldn’t have been out of place on either Major Arcana or Real Hair and now in hindsight seems a perhaps safe opening gambit, but the fact that this is the only (basically non-) qualm here speaks volumes: Foil Deer is another exceptional effort from this perennially challenging, refreshing outfit.