When first listening to “Tiger Tank,” it’s hard not to hear the influence of ’90s indie rock (Pavement, Unwound) and punk on the music. Yet what makes Speedy Ortiz compelling is their use of that sound as an influence, not a template. Vocalist-guitarist Sadie Dupuis’ smart, smirking lyrics and the whole band’s tight-yet-fun playing style sound clearly current, if disinterested in the zeitgeist.
The song’s video captures what’s already evident in the band’s music: punk can (and maybe even should) still be fun. It’s a standard performance video set at a simulated basement show, except that the basement shows I’ve attended haven’t included several pounds worth of paper streamers, luchadores or people in pig masks.
Speedy Ortiz might not sound like a lot of modern indie rock right now, but their just-released LP Major Arcana is good enough that I won’t be surprised if more modern indie rock takes a page from Speedy Ortiz.