As we’re already beginning to, any art – made in this era and for presumably the next 50 years at least – will be lumped into a Trump-era canon. But in true Speedy Ortiz tradition, no art will look like this, nor any set of songs sound as hysterical.
Our political resistances are all idiosyncratic, but Sadie Dupuis and her backing boys self-mockingly refer to theirs as ‘necessary brattiness’. Twerp Verse may be a title which pokes fun of the band’s move towards self-seriousness, but like ‘blank verse’, it could also be a new poetic manifesto. It’s rare to find a band whose music is as agile as their lyrics are playful, and Dupuis plays with words like a jungle gym.
“Mostly I’m mutant as flaw. Kind to a criminal, twine like a ribbon” is this year’s most poetically effective lyric so far, and it reminds us that the world’s cruelty is shape-shifting. But despite the doom there’s hardly a moment among these 11 songs that isn’t danceable, that doesn’t energise us and inspire us to defeat this generation’s great monster. And after the playback we’re reminded that one day this’ll all just be a history lesson for kids to snooze through.