‘The Chronicles Of Marnia’ (Kill Rock Stars)
We were rooting for Marnie Stern’s fourth album as soon as we saw that title – what a pun! Fortunately, the contents don’t disappoint. As ever, the New Yorker’s guitar skills are incredible: she gives great riff, and her widdly-widdly stuff will make your own fingers ache as you listen. But technical accomplishment is just one piece of the puzzle. Stern packs songs like ‘Nothing Is Easy’ and ‘Proof of Life’ with unexpected vocal hooks and snatches of melody, which sweetens her noisy math-rock brew. We know she likes a pun, so we’re going to call this album a real Marn-stormer.