The Comeback Kid by Marnie Stern album review by Greg Walker. The artist full-length is now out via Joyful Noise Recordings and DSPs


The Comeback Kid

Marnie Stern

“I can’t keep on moving backwards!” Marnie Stern, who plays guitar on Seth Meyers’ The Late Show with the 8G band, and has released a slew of groundbreaking records, sounds like the future. And the future is female. Like Sleater-Kinney and St. Vincent, who she channels and perhaps betters on her latest release, The Comeback Kid, she utilizes the guitar and her high pitched screech to elicit explosive post-punk and math-rock sounds, that would set any club ablaze with volcanic energy.

“When you’re ice / Don’t bow down / When you’re tired / Don’t back down,” she sings on the album single, “Believing Is Seeing.” “What if I add this, and this / this and this!” she shouts, as more and more incendiary guitars are added to the mix. Like the cover of the album, her guitar is on fire. And this album is an exercise in addition, adding to our perhaps boring or torturous existences, something fully cathartic and even playful.

The Comeback Kid, a cheeky title, that might refer to her return to the underground music scene after spending her time on national television, is a promise that she fully delivers on. This is one of my favorite albums of the year, so far. You can’t understand nearly anything she sings or screams, but her voice, like her guitar, is bottled lightning. “Get It Good” is one of the titles of her songs, however, and she does just that.

On another of her albums, she has a title for a song called, “Female Guitar Players Are The New Black,” and while a guitar player is a guitar player is a guitar player, Marnie represents her gender with guitar as impressive or more so than any other guitar players out there right now. And it’s good to see the representation.

It’s a quick listen, 12 songs at thirty minutes, something fit for the punk-influenced music that she composes and performs. And it’s good that we have this music on record to replay during our iciest times, to fan the flame of inspiration and meaningful activity. It reminds me of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, a punky female-led band, but also adds a satisfying mathiness to the mix. It’s punk, it’s post-punk, it’s about as much energy as you need or could stand, for the duration of the record.

Order The Comeback Lid by Marnie Stern Here


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