Speedy Ortiz’s Odd, Inventive New Album Will Get You Hooked

“Twerp Verse” conveys gnawing unease with easy grace.

Album Review

Speedy Ortiz
Twerp Verse

Speedy Ortiz leader Sadie Dupuis blends flavorful ingredients in intriguing ways. Her recipe includes: twisty electric guitars that encompass bright melodies and scratchy noise; inventive wordplay that avoids the obvious without succumbing to obscurity; and Dupuis’ subtly commanding vocals, which convey gnawing unease with easy grace rather than histrionics. If the approach of her quartet’s stellar third album no longer surprises, Twerp Verse still finds Dupuis and company sounding as fresh as ever. Start with “Lean in When I Suffer,” an oddly jaunty account of a panic attack, or the spooky “Backslidin’,” where she observes, “I guess we’re backsliding into hell, but at least we know each other well,” and prepare to be hooked.

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