I think what drew me to Speedy Ortiz, asides from the track “No Below,” one of my favorites of the year, was the defiance and spunk that Sadie Dupuis embodies in every song. It comes from the fact that she can sing over anything from slamming guitar riffs to just a shallow drum beat and never once needing to raise her voice. Her still voice can pierce through what seems to be any sound the band can create and that skill just really symbolizes a simple power that not every band or even vocalist can achieve. She has a great singing voice but what really is cool about her is the fact she never seems to have to try too hard.
The rest of the album is a good mixture of punk influences that all come together to make the first album I have heard in a while that I feel comfortable actually calling soft grunge. There are a lot of dirty guitar sounds and some nice little punk drums and sludgy bass lines all with Dupuis offering her delicate voice to the mixture. Really this album could offer up a punk screamer and it would still sound fine, but because it is Dupuis singing, the album becomes memorable. Soft grunge has never felt so accurate when describing this album and because of those two very different bases this album covers, it is an album worth playing over and over again, and not just that, but playing for both punk fans and pop lovers alike.