This album is full of gritty rock, intellectual wordplay, and sincere efforts to speak out. Pasting from the bandcamp press because it truly says it all:
"Necessary brattiness" is the motto in Speedy Ortiz’s dauntless new collection of songs, "Twerp Verse." The follow-up to 2015's "Foil Deer," the band's latest indie rock missive is prompted by a tidal wave of voices, no longer silent on the hurt they’ve endured from society's margins. But like many of these truth-tellers, songwriter, guitarist and singer Sadie Dupuis scales the careful line between what she calls being "outrageous and practical" in order to be heard at all.
"You need to employ a self-preservational sense of humor to speak truth in an increasingly baffling world," says Dupuis. "I call it a ‘twerp verse' when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part. This record is our own twerp verse, for those instances when you desperately need to stand up and show your teeth.”
RIYL: jay som, girlpool
Favorites: 2, 7, 10?
FCC: Possible on 5 for “hell”
1. “Buck Me Off” (2:59) Interesting up-tempo dark tune about being buddies with the devil. Weird and defiant ditty, strong start to the album
2. *“Lean In When I Suffer” (2:30) A heavy sigh of a song that essentially seems to be about experiences with trash men, from weirdos in the library to scrubs who don’t text you back, and settling for these guys who manage to do the least.
3. “Lucky 88” (3:11) About trying to make it in a town that’s not cut out for you without the resources to get ahead. Lucky 88 is a type of slot machine.
4. “Can I Kiss You?” (2:26) An unsettling song about...what? Consent negotiation? Dark and weird while not out of place among other tracks.
5. [Possible FCC “hell”] “Backslidin’” (3:00) Another pretty dark song about a sexual relationship that’s dragging both people down (“backslidin’ into hell”). Yikes :/// still a good tune tho
6. “Villain” (3:20) YIKES. Another dark (but killer) song basically about a perv on the bus harassing girls, violating consent, threatening their physical and emotional safety. “I wanna know if a no means alright. He looks past my answer, did he earn the right? No way, no way.”
7. *“I’m Blessed” (4:25) Lots to unpack here. This is a song about being a witch getting in trouble for using her powers for self-defense. Putting on my gender studies glasses, this is a song about how women have historically been punished for trying to protect themselves against the violence of men in a patriarchal social structure that persists today.
8. “Sport Death” (3:29) Getting the family together and looking out for each other...but in kind of a shady way.
9. “Alone with Girls” (3:24) Hide from the men and make your own all-girl society on an isolated boulder in the wilderness.
10. *“Moving In” (4:35) Wait this is...a nice song? A cute song? About a nice boy? “I’m taking a freshman to prom…”
11. “You Hate The Title” (2:13) Animosity bubbling up around someone you disagree with...someone who annoys you...irks you...cheeky little outro to the album.