Speedy Ortiz - Sports EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Speedy Ortiz

Sports EP (2012)

Exploding in Sound Records

Speedy Ortiz hail from Northampton, Mass., about an hour and a half west of Boston (probably the only city in Mass that you know). Fair warning up front: this EP is neither a concept record about the rise of David Ortiz, or a record of Huey Lewis & the News covers. I know you're disappointed, but please, keep an open mind and you'll find a lot to like here.

The band play indie rock with a slight punk tinge. Much like Football, Etc., the sportsball business barely gets below the surface, except as a metaphor in a few instances. Opener "Basketball" is light and bouncy, leading into the darker and more ominous-sounding "Indoor Soccer." The latter song's verses feature some layering of singer/guitarist Sadie's vocals that has a somewhat hypnotic effect.

Nothing here rocks quite as hard as the band's recent single, "Taylor Swift," but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It feels lame to namecheck the Pixies regarding a band from the same area, but they tend to invoke that quiet-loud-quiet dynamic that Black Francis and co. (and numerous followers) do so well.

Speedy Ortiz were recently ranked as one of the best new bands in America by the Boston Phoenix. While regular Punknews readers might be disinclined to take the Phoenix's opinion seriously, they are spot-on in this case. This five-song EP is solid front-to-back, and well worth your attention.

You can stream the record here.