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Major Arcana by Speedy Ortiz
Released: Jul 2013
Label: Carpark Records
Speedy Ortiz's debut album honors a whole string of greats: Steve Albini's feedbacking production, Pavement's off-the-cuff unpredictability, Polvo's fuzzed-out knots, Liz Phair's knack for unsingable catchiness, and Mary Timony's noodly guitar tricks. Yes, this Brooklyn quartet is very '90s, though their grungy psychedelia is shared by contemporaries like Yuck and Screaming Females. Songs like "Cash Cab," "Tiger Tank" and "Pioneer Spine" rock out in all different directions, but the album's best song is a ballad, "No Below," which can be filed next to Waxahatchee's most heartbreaking tunes.
Dan Weiss

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