REVIEW: Speedy Ortiz – ‘Real Hair’


Artist: Speedy Ortiz
Album: Real Hair
Genre: Alt-rock/Noise Punk
Label: Carpark

After a huge year in 2013, including a critically acclaimed debut album, Major Arcana, and a match-made-in-heaven tour with The Breeders, Speedy Ortiz refuse to sleep, and have released another four songs, with their Real Hair EP. This time, they took Paul Q. Kolderie to record for them, which appears to be another perfect connection for this band, as he is no stranger to working with the sorts; with a repertoire including Radiohead and the Pixies. This coalescence will be nothing short of a landmark for the band, as this EP just adds fuel to the fire that is Speedy Ortiz and keeps them moving into 2014 with more momentum.

The leadoff track, “American Horror,” beautifully creates a juxtaposition of loud crunchy guitars against the melodic and beautiful voice of lead singer Sadie Dupuis, which capture the essence ’90s bands like The Pixies and Garbage gave us so many years ago; the band wears these influences on their sleeves, as it’s matched with Kolderie behind the knobs. This trend continues through the EP. “Oxygal” displays the songcrafting that this band has perfected. The melody in her vocals is matched up throughout almost the whole song with the guitars, which seem to be louder than ever. “Shine Theory” reeks of early Pixies, as its lead in with feedback followed by a matched-up bass line and guitar melody that pave the momentum of the song and give Sadie a perfect path to display her wrecked self.

A more introspective tone in her lyrics seems to be ironically placed. In “Everything’s Bigger,” Dupuis sings “So you might escape back to a place where horrors fade away,” but at points it’s almost hidden, or blurred you might say, by the distortion of the music. “Oxygal” also peers through the looking glass and allows for Dupuis to see herself during the rougher moments and says, “And who wants to sleep by her who death becomes / Someone who sleeps with her neck in reverse / It’s only me.” It’s hard to tell what’s darker about this song, the lyrics or the low end strings that are flat and obviously in distress. The self-realization is never as obvious as it is in the final track, “Shine Theory,” where Dupuis recognizes where she was wrong and what she missed in her mistakes.

In all four songs, the emotions found in her voice are obvious, but necessary for the subject matter at hand. As they mention that their debut was the break-up album, the clear disdain for the past is relative, and she displays the aftermath perfectly via her vocals. All of the regret, disappointment, and even the reflective knowledge wrapped up in the lyrics show insight into the mid of Dupuis and the genius in her songwriting ability, and are matched evenly with her talent as a singer.

The band is about to go on tour again, and the EP, Real Hair, is out now. Don’t sleep on it and check out the single, “Everything’s Bigger,” below.

SCORE: 9/10

Corey From

Corey From, from Kansas City, MO, when not thinking about or listening to music, obsessively thinks about Royals baseball, a platter of ribs (or BBQ in general) and cold beer. Nothing special really.
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