Far from Malkmus' obtuse and at times nonsensical lyricism, Dupuis' words are rooted firmly in Guyville. The spectre of early Liz Phair is all over Foil Deer, which puts Dupuis's voice up front for the first time. It also marks the band's most musically adventurous collection to date. From the vocal production tricks of "Raising the Skate" to the creeping bass of "Puffer," Foil Deer shows that Speedy Ortiz can be far more musically difficult to pin down when they want to be. Frankly they're all the better for it. More straightforward, run-of-the-mill tracks, sonically speaking, like "Dot X," suffer in comparison.
There was a sense that this record would be Speedy Ortiz's great leap forward. Instead, we get some tentative baby steps in the right direction, as the band settle for just really good instead of truly great. (Carpark)