by / November 4th, 2010 /

Marnie Stern – Marnie Stern

 1/5 Rating

(Kill Rock Stars)

Given that Marnie Stern has been rather candid in recent interviews about how the suicide of an ex-boyfriend spurred on ‘For Ash’, the first track from her eponymous third full-length, we should not be surprised that Stern has not opted for an overtly morose opening soundscape. Instead, we are treated to trademark Stern stop-start shredding, complimented by Zach Hill’s percussive dexterity.

However, scratch the surface further and underneath the wash of noise, Stern utters “I cannot bear/no one compares/ I miss your smile/ sadness all the while”; not exactly the kookiness that she is sometimes tagged with. Indeed, Marnie Stern is probably her most full-bodied piece of work yet; even its no-frills title is more sombre that tongue-twisting predecessor This Is It and I Am It and You Are It…

Nonetheless, while Stern unravels an almost-ballad number in the aching splendour of ‘Transparency Is The New Mystery’, she still has a penchant for delivering shrieking fizzbomb guitar tour-de-forces in the manner of ‘Female Guitar Players Are The New Black’: Stern is very much the lead trendsetter in that regard.

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