It’s kind of fitting that Speedy Ortiz’s latest track is released in close proximity to The Muff’s first record in ten years, Whoop Dee Doo. Despite the more angular nature of Speedy Ortiz, both bands are grounded by a catchy punk-rock aesthetic, and fronted by female guitar/vocalist who don’t take any shit. Both Sadie Dupuis and Kim Shattuck are the defiant drivers of their bands, and both have carved their own statues in the landscape of musical consciousness. However, for want of not drawing more comparisons than are necessary, it is important to note Dupuis’ very individual persona, and her very individual band. Their 2013 record Major Arcana packed the sort of loud/quiet dynamics to catch the ear of any early 90’s Seattleite’s, as well as a fountain of lyrics which the Kings and Queens of semantics over at Pitchfork even noted as ‘actually worth pouring over.’
‘Bigger Party’ allows itself to follow the tried-and-tested Speedy Ortiz formula, and as such stands all the more proudly because of it. The standout line of the chorus sees Dupuis admonishing herself ‘for making out with all your friends/I’m really a shithead.’ However, most interesting is when she lays down how she’s ‘not getting wiser but I’m getting kind of old.’ For someone who’s lyrical and song writing capabilities do show a growing intelligence and who is still the fun side of thirty, perhaps this is nothing more than a realignment, a chance for the rest of us to catch up. More likely, it’s a further example to add to Dupuis’ growing list of lines which are self-deprecating in a witty, wry manner. As always, Dupuis’ and Matt Robidoux’s guitars dance around each other in an increasingly barbed manner, while the bass and drum combination of Darl Ferm and Mike Falcone ensure there is a continuity to the abrasive tapestry being created. ‘Bigger Party’ is easily Speedy Ortiz’s catchiest song thus far, but loses none of its deadly combination of both aggression and humour. And despite Dupuis’ modesty, we would never expect anything less.
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Review by Ben Lynch |