Speedy Ortiz "Foil Deer" CD Digipak (2015)
Details: Speedy Ortiz' second album "Foil Deer" on DC's Carpark Records. Used digipak CD. Some light shelf wear, but in great condition. See images.
Description: "The sophomore album from indie-rock traditionalists Speedy Ortiz is more ferocious and visceral than their debut, with leader Sadie Dupuis honing her talent for turning her sour experiences into anthems about clawing your way out of self-doubt.
On Speedy Ortiz’s 2013 debut Major Arcana, Sadie Dupuis crafted her barbed-wire wordplay into wounded callouts of those who had hurt her. Now, she's wielding it like a weapon. Foil Deer, the Massachusetts indie rock traditionalists' sophomore full-length, opens with Dupuis noting on "Good Neck" that she's good with a knife and she knows when to use it. She takes a lap around the block to cool down—like all good bosses should—before coming back with a world-beating declaration of autonomy on “Raising the Skate”: “I'm chief, not the overthrown/ Captain, not a crony/So if you wanna row, you better have an awfully big boat.”
With Foil Deer, Dupuis doesn't scold; she warns. The album is ferocious and visceral, the lyrics gleaming with threats involving sharp blades both literal and figurative ("Don't ever touch my blade, you fool/ You'll be cursed for a lifetime," she taunts knowingly on "Dot X"). As Dupuis grows more self-possessed, she and her bandmates veer into their most ambitious compositions to date. Knotty melodies shift gears in an instant, giving Foil Deer a jumpy, enthralling energy. God bless ‘em, Speedy believe that every song ideally should have three or four musical ideas.
For its first 47 seconds, "Zig" scans like vintage folk-pop until the song abruptly steers into a thorny chunk of dissonance led by Dupuis’ contrasting falsetto. A minute passes and it sounds like yet another song—a much more melodic thing this time—before a nightmarish jumble of riffs and cymbals grinds the pace to a halt. A defeated Dupuis wonders aloud "How many laps does it take to decide you’re back at the start?" as she and her bandmates double back on the the song’s original theme. It’s a clever construction, representing just how much thought went into crafting each of these songs.
In Speedy Ortiz, both the music and lyrics work overtime, bringing a surplus of conflicting ideas to the table that they somehow manage to cram into tight spaces. The magic is that they never sound overworked, and in fact when they go more straighforward—"Puffer", for instance, in which they try the pleather sleaze of '90s industrial rock on for size—it feels like not quite enough by comparison. Despite its clever kiss-offs ("Take me off your list or elect a lobotomy"), the chipper pop-punk of "Swell Content" would have sufficed on last year’s Real Hair EP, but here it feels like filler. It goes to show that the members of Speedy Ortiz can barely keep up with their own progress.
Dupuis, a recent MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Amherst, is among the most talented lyricists of her musical class. She writes vivid-yet-mysterious scenes that require interpretive work on the listeners' behalf—such as "My Dead Girl", a cryptic tale about living fast and risking becoming a missing face on a milk carton. But Dupuis’ greatest strength as a lyricist is her ability to turn her sour experiences into anthems about clawing back from self-doubt. On Foil Deer, Dupuis makes standing up for yourself—in the face of double standards, struggles with addiction, and the general carelessness of youth—sound like a no-brainer, but she also never tries to hide how complicated everything can be. As the band continues to evolve around and with her, Speedy Ortiz’s music finally sounds as complex as its leader dares to be." - Jillian Mapes, Pitchfork
Grade: VG+ (Cover) / NM (CD)
CD TRACK LISTING:
1. Good Neck
2. Raising The Skate
3. The Graduates
4. Dot X
7. Swell Content
9. My Dead Girl
11. Mr. Difficult
12. Dvrk Wvrld