Four tracks of uneasy listening from the Massachusetts band
8 / 10
Amid their debut album’s tales of mutually manipulative relationships, Speedy Ortiz singer-guitarist Sadie Dupuis asked the crucial question: “If I’m despondent, who’s at fault?” Sure, blame the shithead exes and cruel kids who teased when she broke her leg, but on the Massachusetts band’s new EP, Dupuis examines her relationship with herself for clues. The results aren’t pretty, but then unpicking ugliness is one of Dupuis’ greatest strengths as a songwriter. On ‘Real Hair’, she’s by turns crazy and paranoid, a sucker for falling for people as damaged as she is before protectively pushing them away, acting cruel as a cover for her inability to connect. Dupuis’ every sneer is undercut by self-deprecation, a recognisable slipperiness that’s mimicked by the lurch of Dupuis and Matt Robidoux’s careening guitar lines. Plundering the absurdity of hair metal and yoking its overheated adventurousness to the poppiest structures Speedy have wrought since debut single ‘Taylor Swift’, ‘Real Hair’ works like a oujia board: dangerous, addictive fun with the potential for unwelcome answers.
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