Marnie Stern: The Chronicles of Marnia

Kill Rock Stars

Marnie Stern loves to shred, and her crazy girl-next-door flavor shines in the possessed guitar solos and maniacal anthems throughout The Chronicles of Marnia, showing off more of what you already know about the New York songstress. Four albums in, Stern lets up on the guitar solos and tightens her voice for a more mature, if still hyperventilated, message. At just 32 minutes, the album deviates from her earlier heartbroken themes by delving into her own tortured creativity in "Proof of Life," singing, "All my life is based on fantasy, and all the gods, they've stopped talking to me." But whether she's yelping like an escaped monkey or abusing her fingers against the steel strings, she hasn't lost her connection to the other side. (4 out of 5 stars)