We’re not too far off from the release of Marnie Stern’s follow-up to last year’s In Advance Of The Broken Arm. And I learned something this Labor Day weekend, while literally listening to nothing but the new one: It is a great fucking album. Of course Marnie’s a shredder, as many a trend piece has told us. But moreover, and what’s inescapable this time, is the way in which she’s honed and buffed to brilliance her previous flirtation with shoehorning that technical virtuosity into song-oriented compositions.
All over This Is It… (full title later), the trills and taps and shifting arpeggiated patterns coil, eating their own tails, often overdubbed and intertwining while panned hard to either speaker, snaking underneath the tracks and through transitional passages. They give a live-loop like texture to honest-to-goodness, Sleater-friendly rock songs. Marnie’s voice can be cute, cooing, screeching, or just hurl percussive punctuation (check the “Huh”s). The great “Shea Stadium” is an example of all of that — stomping out front with Hella man Zach Hill bringing shifting, reckless, thoughtful beats. It’s good.
What Brandon said about the album while talking up lead single, “Transformer“: “Each track sounds like she’s stumbling upon something for the first time and blowing her own mind while doing it.” I love that. And it’s true. I’m sure Marnie has new press pics but I’m pretty partial to that shot I grabbed of her with the Hella-band from SXSW ’07, so that’s the image you see up there.
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 is out 10/7 via Kill Rock Stars. Please make sure you give this album some good listens. It’s album-of-the-year stuff.