Speedy Ortiz - Twerp Verse Album Review

Story posted April 30, 2018 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Scott Perdue

The Garage band infused alternative group, Speedy Ortiz, is back with their third studio album, Twerp Verse. An album that is crafted from the remnants of a scrapped previous project, Twerp Verse exposes the deep grunge roots of Speedy Ortiz while also elevating their sound through the utilization of advanced sonic soundscapes.

Arguably best known for their hit “No Below,” Speedy Ortiz has been actively releasing new albums since 2013. They had a set back after their last album, Foil Deer, due to a disappointment and loss of drive after the recent election. They abandoned a large amount of material from their original subsequent project and shifted focus to a hard rock style than the slower, love-infused songs they had originally planned to release. Twerp Verse serves as a relaunching of the band, reestablishing their sound and marking a journey into stronger sonic compositions.

Kicking off with a strong beginning, Twerp Verse begins with the overpowering rock track “Buck Me Off,” a catchy and aggressive song about deviating from the norm and being cast out. The album moves somewhat consistently within this theme of deviation and struggle causing all of the tracks to flow cohesively, while unfortunately also losing some memorability. A lot of the tracks begin to blur together with only a minor few being able to break out and really catch the listener’s attention. Many of the tracks on the album utilize a strong battle between the instruments, instead of a more harmonious method. It is innovative, but in some ways detracts from the songs overall.

Throughout the album there are many instances where a sudden guitar spike is thrown in which feels unnecessary and unneeded. While some of the songs feel like filler, a few tracks do have an elevated quality, attributed heavily to the successful songwriting of frontwoman Sadie Dupuis. Her vocals and stellar lyricism aids in keeping the album from falling into a sea of irrelevance and showcases that Speedy Ortiz has a lot of potential. While this album just isn’t quite as strong as their previous releases, it proves that there is a lot of technical evolution that the band is experimenting with. Had the band not been detracted by scrapping their original project, they may have been able to build on those ideas more effectively.

Overall, the album feels as though it is a little restricted to long-time fans that understand the band’s style, and can be off-putting for new listeners. A few of the tracks are very catchy and strong, but an unfortunate amount of the album feels absent of the punch that the stronger tracks have. While Twerp Verse does fail in some respects to keep the listener engaged and invested in the album, it does prove that Speedy Ortiz is a band that, with a little more maturing and concentrated focus, could create a very strong and powerful album. Hopefully, Speedy Ortiz can utilize their newly found style in a more successful album down the road and prove that their unique quality isn’t a coincidence, but a leading example for other alternative groups.

Rating: 6/10



Scott Perdue is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.