Monday, December 22, 2008

Marnie Stern - Review

Marnie Stern – This is it and I am it and you are it and so is that and he is it and she is it and it is it and that is that (2008)

Kill Rock Stars

On her debut ‘In Advance of the Broken Arm’ Marnie Stern created quite a statement. Here was a woman who did not hide a metal obsession and would shred with such ferocity and velocity that it would make Eddie Van Halen blush. Coupled with Hella’s Zach Hill’s spazzo drumming, ‘In Advance…’ was deliriously exciting. It had same danger factor as smoking in a room with a gas leak. She was ready to explode and so were you listening to her. However beneath all the wailing, and if you include her voice, shrieking, there lay a sensitive soul who really just wanted to tell the world about her feelings.

Now to listen to this once is great but to hear a second album of this will make people scream ‘one trick pony’. Luckily for us on Stern’s sophomore offering there are all the elements that made the debut a load of fun but there is a new found sense of melody which was a bit lacking in the past.

In fact opener ‘Prime’ begins with Stern reciting a nursery rhyme and then attacking us with a barrel load of dizzy riffing. In a way you could say that the album follows this vein. There are undeniably big tunes and rather than being blanketed with by Stern’s guitar poweress, they are completed by all the technical lightning bolts she shoots from her fretboard. Which leads to a certain depth her debut lacked, even it feels more complete.

Even her frail sensitivity has changed, now Marnie Stern version 2.0 will not only kick the shit out of you with her music but with her lyrics as well, female empowerment and avenging wrongs dominate a lot.

Two albums in and Marnie Stern as now not only proved what she can do but she has also taken them to another level and still has not lost what makes her Marnie Stern. She is one of the most unique artists around at the moment and ‘This is it….’ has definitely sealed that.

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