“American Horror”- Speedy Ortiz

Massachusetts band Speedy Ortiz’s second album Major Arcana, is incredibly anachronistic. Debuted in July of 2013, the record would’ve fared equally well if released in the mid-90s when Built to Spill’s sprawling guitar odes first came within earshot. Even lead-singer Sadie Dupuis’ voice drifts into Doug Martsch territory. “Slacker” is an easy word to toss-off when you hear her warbling though the understated melodicism signifies a tireless worker. And the rupturing guitar solos the band provides couldn’t possibly come from anyone sunk into a couch.

The mighty guitar wallop of new-cut “American Horror” obliterates any couch. Hearing those first feedback laden seconds, another Amherst, Mass band comes to mind. Dinosaur Jr. continues to be the gold-standard of indie-rock guitar heroics, and Speedy Ortiz seems to be cut from the same cloth. Add a few RPMs to the track and you’ve entered into “Kracked”. Dupuis’ proclamation “no it’s not what you think,” drips with just enough snotty adolescence to keep it away from wounded-animal territory. It does thrash like a sickly beast on its last leg however. Guitar feedback splays to every conceivable angle and drums perpetually throb. “You’d be out on a stretcher after your home-stretch,” goes a key line before the song hurtles into the first chorus. The aesthetic suggests “90s”, but the noise ensures the group didn’t hear anything from the entire decade.

“American Horror”, is from the forthcoming EP Real Hair, out February 11 through Carpark Records, and can be heard here.


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