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'Twerp Verse' review: Speedy Ortiz finds sweetness in the darkness

SPEEDY ORTIZ

Twerp Verse

BOTTOM LINE Finding the sweetness in these dark times or maybe the other way around

Speedy Ortiz’s singer-guitarist Sadie Dupuis has one of those instantly likable voices that conjures up sweet thoughts and sunshine.

She is also crafty enough to know she can use that gift to tackle weighty issues in a powerful way, something she does masterfully in the band’s new “Twerp Verse” (Carpark) album.

Dupuis said she scrapped an album’s worth of new material because it was too “lovey-dovey” for the current political climate and the band wrote most of “Twerp Verse” in the months following the 2016 election. The results make the most of her vocal charms and the gritty atmospherics generated by guitarist Andy Moholt, drummer Mike Falcone, and bassist Darl Ferm.

The harrowing personal tale of sexual harassment “Villain” may get the most attention, but the intricacies of “Lucky 88” is just as gripping a story, as is the grungy “Alone With Girls.”

On “You Hate the Title,” Speedy Ortiz delivers the album’s catchiest track as Dupuis claps back against those who complain about songs, even while seemingly enjoying them. It’s a glorious misdirection that’s as effective as the rest of “Twerp Verse.”

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