Speedy Ortiz, “Foil Deer”
When someone says, “Don’t mess with me,” the warning is accompanied by a tacit invitation to do the opposite, like how a “no trespassing” sign is essentially a welcome mat for the curious or contrarian. On their sophomore full-length Foil Deer, Speedy Ortiz are on the offensive, warning everyone within earshot not to cross them, and whether it’s meant to be or not, the attitude is beguiling. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s repeated claims of her proficiency with blades are validated by her jagged, tilt-a-whirl guitar riffs—heard best on the album’s central anthem to autonomy, “Raising the Skate.” It’s fun to channel Dupuis’s dominant sneer, but her references to feeling alienated by strangers make it hard to tell if the listener is supposed to be on her side of the fight. But in all likelihood, Speedy Ortiz don’t care where you stand, so long as you stay the hell out of their way.