Speedy Ortiz: Foil Deer

Fuzzed-out indie crew ups the wordplay and the energy

Credit: Shervin Lainez

Massachusetts indie rockers Speedy Ortiz take a plunge down the rabbit hole on their second LP. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis is their bedraggled Alice in Wonderland, tumbling past the cartoonish faces of every ex-friend and bitter stranger, with plenty of Mad Hatter-worthy wordplay along the way ("We were the law-school rejects/So we quarreled at the bar instead"). Foil Deer is an upswing from the listless cynicism that clouded their 2013 breakout, Major Arcana: This time, Dupuis and fellow guitarist Devin McKnight take charge. Album highlight "Raising the Skate" is a bold provocation to any doubters: "If you wanna throw," Dupuis says, "you better have an awfully big stone."