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Marnie Stern
Marnie Stern - Kill Rock Stars
FILTER Grade: 86%

By Lauren Barbato on September 9, 2010

 

Marnie Stern

Just as Los Angeles is ready to deem itself “the place to be” for female guitar players with its current queens of the lo-fi scene, Brooklyn-based guitarist/vocalist Marnie Stern retaliates with her third LP that shocks like an AED straight to the heart. Precise dissonance has long been Stern’s strong point, and when paired with a super-human stamina she careens through a 10-track album without any sense of relief until it’s all over; every note is climatic, every vocal a yelp. “Risky Biz” delivers a nuanced pop tune at fast-forward speed, while Stern turns personal on the turbulent “For Ash,” a lament to her late ex-boyfriend that rides waves of emotions—and sounds—more tender than any of Stern’s previous conceptual albums. And though the title begs to differ, the pummeling, shred-happy “Female Guitar Players are the New Black” proves Stern is anything but willing to settle for what others expect her to be. 

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