Marnie Stern In Advance of the Broken Arm

Marnie Stern In Advance of the Broken Arm
"Don’t judge a book by its cover” is the sort of advice a musician like Marnie Stern has adopted as a credo throughout her musical path. Hiding behind her Fender Jaguar, the petite blonde singer-songwriter appears harmless, but once she strikes a chord all earplugs in the room cower in fear. You see, Stern doesn’t just play her guitar enthusiastically, she attacks her axe with complete and utter abandon, and it’s spectacular. In Advance of the Broken Arm is the debut album of this Manhattanite, and with the help of like-minded noise enthusiast Zach Hill of Hella (on drums and co-arranging duties), Stern shreds away with remarkable control and tunefulness. You can certainly hear her influences, which she’s admitted include the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Boredoms and Don Caballero, whose music taught her the fine art of finger-tapping. But Stern is an artist unlike no other. The vocals are treated with a filter that produces magically ethereal results and her ability to transcend textbook noise rock and channel a stream of copious pop hooks is commendable. The careful melodies and arpeggiated chords of "Put All Your Eggs in One Basket and Then Watch That Basket!!!” makes it an unlikely hit, but given the right environment this song could be an accessible breakthrough for an artist with these commercial restrictions. At the other end of the spectrum, "The Weight of a Rock” demonstrates the radical temptations she gives in to, allowing for Hill to unleash an onslaught of uninhibited rhythms for an overall sound that mirrors the chaotic beauty of an act like Melt-Banana. Noise fiends, here is your new goddess, so give her love! (Kill Rock Stars)