Speedy Ortiz reveals hidden gems within uneven Rabbit Rabbit


Philly-based rock band Speedy Ortiz show their incisors with their fourth album Rabbit Rabbit, which, according to the lead singer and founder Saide Duipis, was conceived in isolation due to the COVID pandemic. Dupuis and Speedy Ortiz maintain a consistent image and sound of an indie band playing light pop-punk, alternative rock, and some grunge influences in their work. Rabbit Rabbit tackles treading on the same rake again, relationships past their prime, and coming to terms with others, and oneself.

The album kicks off with the track “Kim Cattrall,” the namesake of the actress who portrayed Samantha Jones in the early 2000’s hit show “Sex and the City.” The tune does a great job of introducing the mood and style the album will take on. All of the band’s members seem to play within the same lane, with nothing really standing out yet and all properly beating to the lead pace. As for the lyrics, it reads like personal poetry meant only to be understood by the poet; a secret inside joke.

The next songs to follow: “You S02”, “Scabs”, and “Plus One” all seem to follow the same formula, and even some of the same playing. The guitar work by Andy Molholt seems to blend into one big song, with some riffs standing out more than others like “You S02.” The writing seems to clear up under the muddy waters left by the opening song, but it is still a guessing game, and perhaps this is what Duipis was looking for when putting this album together.

Rabbit Rabbit demonstrates some teeth with “Cry Cry Cry.” This is the song that shows each member defining themselves on the album. Molholt’s playing rises and crashes like waves in the sea where he controls the environment along with Duipius’s voice. Drummer Joey Doubek breaks away a bit from the repetitive spaced-out drumming the album introduced in the first few songs and demonstrates a style that had been subdued within the first couple of tracks. Duipis’s voice becomes both angelic and haunting, as if a sermon on the highs and lows of life, dealing with pain that comes from one’s own decisions, and later recovering from bad experiences that took place.


The conclusion to the album makes the most impact of all and perhaps provides what we have been craving since the beginning. “The Sunday” and “Ghostwriter” close out Rabbit Rabbit, with the former song discussing people having to deal with bad days and moments all the while trying to navigate through a funk, repair themselves, and welcome what the next day has in store. The latter lets out the anger that seemed to be building up throughout the album. It sounds like all of the exhaustion and emotional weight are finally being released simultaneously.

Rabbit Rabbit has some gems, but finding them takes time and patience. Many tracks seem like fillers until the great one comes around, but there is no doubt that Duipis writes from the heart and all the members are playing with passion. It does seem, however, that they drone on a bit until some meaning or spark sets them off into a fit of musical rage. For those born in the mid-90’s, there will be a heavy dose of nostalgia carried within this album. It sounds familiar and like childhood all over again and that will be enough for us to continue with it.

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