By Rob Duguay
Over the past few weeks or so I've been hearing numerous stories about the nice little independent rock scene going on in Western Massachusetts. For an area that has produced bands such as Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and Buffalo Tom along with being the home base for Sonic Youth at one point, it's no wonder that this scenic part of New England has been undergoing a musical revival over the past few years. One band from Northampton that should be one of the shining stars from the northeast in years to come just put out their debut album Major Arcana and Speedy Ortiz has this really cool alt-shoegaze schtick going on that you must dive into.
Speedy Ortiz's research into black magic was a heavy influence on their debut, which is an absolute blast from the past that not many bands immerse themselves into nowadays. It definitely shows with a few tracks having an eerie tinge and in my opinion if black magic became part of Led Zeppelin's mystique in the 70's, why don't more bands do it? Consider this a challenge to all you bands to delve into the dangerous. I'm always a fan of when a new band makes a distinct effort to show their take on what's cool, and Speedy Ortiz definitely does that with Major Arcana.
It's been a little while since this piece of music journalism has graced your eyesight but that doesn't mean that it immediately gets old. You already should know what this part of the blog is all about unless you're a novice, if the latter is the case than consider this a modest introduction. It's that time again where I tell you my favorite tracks off of my Album Of The Week. The ones that really stick out, the best of the rest, the diamond tracks that I can't get enough of. It's never easy, but here goes something:
I like "Tiger Tank" a whole lot, the detuned guitar and a steady drum beat brings the beauty in simplicity that I absolutely dig. "Fun" has that driving energy that promises to make you tap your feet and bob your head as if it was attached to a spring. "Hitch" exudes a unique twang but it's not country, more borderlining on an avant-garde style as well as Breeders-esque hooks. I only named a few but that is no excuse to be lame and just ignore the rest. Every song off of Speedy Ortiz's debut is ridiculously splendid and should not be overlooked.
Speedy Ortiz are currently in the middle of their summer United States tour where they'll be playing The Happy Dog in Cleveland tonight with the tour concluding in Philadelphia at The Golden Tea House on August 13th. Be sure that when they come back to New England they'll be playing around the area before the end of the year. Until then, grab a copy of Speedy Ortiz's Major Arcana and simply enjoy.