Speedy Ortiz: Rabbit Rabbit [Album Review]

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Speedy Ortiz
Rabbit Rabbit
Wax Nine Records [2023]

Speedy Ortiz, the indie rock outfit from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has made a long-awaited return with their fourth full-length studio album, Rabbit Rabbit. This release marks their first since Twerp Verse in 2018. Led by the enigmatic Sadie Dupuis, the band had already carved out a distinctive niche in the indie rock scene, known for their clever lyrics and intricate guitar work. Now, after a five-year absence, Rabbit Rabbit seeks to build upon their established sound while injecting a new sense of urgency, relevance, and introspection into their music.

Rabbit Rabbit may not represent a significant departure for Speedy Ortiz, but their signature style of indie rock remains as infectious as ever. While their earlier work was already celebrated for its clever wordplay and intricate guitar work, this album showcases Speedy Ortiz at their best. Notably, Rabbit Rabbit marks the first time that the longtime touring members have contributed fully to an album.

Sadie Dupuis’ lyrical prowess remains a standout feature, as she fearlessly addresses the abuses from her childhood. However, she doesn’t just confront this painful history; she drives the entire record with confidence and conviction. Despite Dupuis’ busy schedule outside of Speedy Ortiz – which includes releasing solo music, collaborating with artists like Lizzo, The New Pornographers, Ben Lee, and Backxwash, publishing two acclaimed poetry books, and managing the Carpark Records imprint and literary journal, Wax Nine (home to Spacemoth, Johanna Warren, Melkbelly) – she sounds perfectly at home as the frontwoman of this indie band.

Musically, Rabbit Rabbit presents a vibrant and eclectic fusion of indie rock and post-punk influences. The band’s talent for crafting catchy hooks and memorable melodies shines throughout the album, resulting in a unique experience with each track. The album masterfully balances gritty, guitar-driven songs such as “Kim Cattrall” and the even more intensely rocking “Ranch Vs. Ranch” with soaring choruses, as highlighted in “You S02,” offering a well-rounded and engaging listening experience. Furthermore, tracks like “Ghostwriter” exemplify the band’s ability to compose outstanding no-frills rock songs. The album concludes with a runtime of 45 minutes, marking it as the longest among Speedy Ortiz’s records.

This album showcases Speedy Ortiz at their most mature and lyrically potent, while also highlighting their musical prowess. It serves as a compelling addition to their discography. Dupuis is brimming with intelligent lines and an upbeat spirit in her writing. This quality makes Rabbit Rabbit one of those albums where you’re always eager for the next hook to captivate you. Speedy Ortiz has made a memorable comeback, as Rabbit Rabbit truly grows on you with each quality spin you give it!

“You S02” / “Ranch vs. Ranch” / “Ghostwriter”

Hop Along / Illuminati Hotties / feeble little horse

Twerp Verse (2018) / Foil Deer (2015) / Real Hair EP (2014) / Major Arcana (2013)

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | Wax Nine Records

Thomas Wilde

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