If you’ve got a headache, or are susceptible to getting them, ignore this. I can’t fucking believe that Marnie Stern fell through the cracks, both of the general music press and also of my own blog, for so long. This album should’ve been on my best of last year. It should be the album that I hand out to strangers on the street like a religious tract. It should be playing in every dentists office in our great land. It should be used when they need those ultra endangered panda’s to cut the foreplay and awkward and get together. What is it? Let’s start with this: In Advance of the Broken Arm, Marnie Stern’s first album shreds.
One of the things I never got/never liked about metal was why shredding was ever all that cool. The “art” of it never really got through to me; someone soloing at 2-3 times the normal speed for guitar solos doesn’t inspire awe for me, it just makes me think that someone, to put it lightly, really likes showing off. When Marnie Stern does it, you can feel it’s not about showing off. The solos/really really fast, inventive, guitar playing on her album isn’t a painting over the mantle, gathering dust, that you get told the history of on the tour of the house. It’s the whole reason the house got built. These songs are frenzied, scalding, festering, Stockholm Syndrome inducing. The guitar in these songs is so fast, technically brilliant not because Stern can play that way, but because each song demands it.
I guess the reason people walk away from Stern and her captivating, brilliant debut, is the same reason people pass over Hella (whose inhuman drumming graces this album). It’s too weird to hold in one hand, and too unusual to ignore if its within hearing range.
“Logical Volume” and “Put All Your Eggs In One Basket, And Then Watch That Basket!!!!” are both from Marnie Stern’s 2007 album In Advance of the Broken Arm.