Marnie Stern, ‘This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It…’ (Kill Rock Stars)
Marnie Stern has the voice of a little girl grafted to the grizzled hands of Yngwie Malmsteen. Her debut album was heavy on jittery, multitracked riffs,but light on compositions that could support their weight. Now Stern, working again with Hella drummer Zach Hill, attempts to pair her vicious shredding with actual structure. The vocals can still dilate your pupils, but her melodies (on “Ruler,” “The Package Is Wrapped”) deserve equal attention, as Stern bids to become one of the few finger-tappers who’s also a songwriter.