Speedy Ortiz – Rabbit Rabbit

A joyful journey where the destination is of no importance…

Not all who wander are lost, but the vast majority are searching for something, and there is a wild and nomadic spirit embedded in ‘Rabbit Rabbit,’ the fourth LP from Philly four-piece Speedy Ortiz. Straight out of the gates the guitars on ‘Kim Cattrall’ tussle like drunks outside a bar, the erratic thrust and riposte hurtling the track into a power slam of a chorus. It acts as a perfect scene setter of what is to come.

‘Rabbit Rabbit’ is chock full of chunky alternative rock bangers, but few feel formulaic. This is something which can be attributed to Sadie Dupuis’ outsider approach to songwriting. While the album is riff heavy, the majority are almost random in nature such as on ‘Plus One’ where the guitars seem to work against the vocals, but to thrilling effect. It all adds to the feeling of a band unwilling to settle on a destination. At each fork in the road they plunge straight ahead determined to avoid predefined paths. 

‘Cry Cry Cry’ could have been a turn of the century indie disco staple in another life and on ‘Ballad of Y & S’, while sending up the life of an artist, Dupuis’ and her band dabble in understated sleazy garage rock. Not content staying within their alt rock parameters on the thoroughly charming ‘Emergency & Me’ there is an air of alt country to the opening melody. Typically, the track is then thrown astray in a whirlwind of spinning guitar notes but the lightness lingers on.

‘Rabbit Rabbit’ is a joyful listen. Its refusal to follow the norms is an inspiration, and an attempt at an act of defiance in an age when it is becoming harder and harder to go against the grain. The band may still be wandering, looking where the next riff will lead them, but if you are willing to tag along, it is an enthralling ride.


Words: Craig Howieson

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