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When Will St. Vincent Make Her Rock Masterpiece?

By / 02.27.14

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The greatest concert experience I’ve ever had scared the hell out of me. It was in May 2011, at a tribute show to Michael Azerrad’s ode to the 1980s DIY scene, Our Band Could Be Your Life. The Dirty Projectors played Black Flag, Titus Andronicus put their sloppy scent all over the Replacements Stink EP, tUnE-yArDs made Sonic Youth even loopier. The whole thing was fantastic, but the highlight was St. Vincent’s brutally visceral (and terrifying) two-song set of Big Black noise-punk tunes, “Bad Penny” and “Kerosene.” The latter, taken from Atomizer, was particularly shocking, because all I knew about St. Vincent then was what I heard on Marry Me and Actor, and what I heard on Marry Me and Actor sounded NOTHING like this.

The shivers I get watching that feel the way her cold, razor-sharp guitar sounds. I’ve been watching it a lot lately, too, because St. Vincent released a new album this week. It’s good, very good at times; it’s also clear that all her time spent with David Byrne has had an effect on her, and it shows in songs like the fuzzy, funky “Digital Witness,” which I previously described as “Talking (Robot) Heads.” St. Vincent, the album, is bold and brimming and occasionally brilliant…but it’s a shame guitar hero St. Vincent, the person, has been ignored in favor of art-pop St. Vincent. Guitar hero St. Vincent must rise, and make a killer rock album.

St. Vincent can shred with the best of them, and her witty lyrics, stage presence, and general aura of not giving a f*ck are all the qualities one looks for in a rock star. She’s so supremely talented that she can make something as chilly as “Prince Johnny” sound warm, but on album number five, whenever it comes out, St. Vincent should let the blood, and the sweat, and the rage flow. LET GUITAR HERO ST. VINCENT LIVE.

So basically an entire album of this:

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