CD review: Throwing Muses: Throwing Muses

(4AD) Also reviewed: Kristin Hersh: In the Grotto

More pop CD reviews

Sharing the same release date but exploring very different agendas, these albums reflect the warring nature of Kristin Hersh, the oft-anointed godmother of alternative rock. As the twisted voice and guitarist of the obtuse and influential Throwing Muses, Hersh aligned powerful imagery with harsh guitars. The band split in 1997; this is their grubby, pithy return. Debilitating passion propels the speeding rhythms and brooding melodies, co-founder Tanya Donelly adding cute, deranged backing vocals. Each squirming song abandons any notion of consistency as jagged guitars slice through the wailing rhythms.

Hersh watches, helpless, as relationships fall through her fingers like the rippling but uncomfortable melodies. Such heaviness is abandoned on Hersh's solo acoustic effort, In the Grotto, her vocals as naked and light as her words are dressed up. From the post-argument comedown of Sno Cat to the overly descriptive Vanishing Twin, Hersh slides over the shimmering melodies, never quite able to embrace their loveliness. Whether rocking out or looking within, Hersh remains uniquely contrary.

Contributor

Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Throwing Muses – review
It's an eerie, entertaining show, although more nostalgic than trailblazing nowadays, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

07, Nov, 2011 @6:31 PM

Article image
Throwing Muses: Purgatory/Paradise – review
Kristin Hersh's first Throwing Muses album in a decade is a 32-song epic contained within a hardback book, and it's bewitching stuff, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

07, Nov, 2013 @10:15 PM

Article image
Throwing Muses/Tanya Donelly review – intense and fascinating
Donelly was in strident, declamatory form alongside stepsister Kristin Hersh and the rest of her former alt-rock cohorts, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

26, Sep, 2014 @3:07 PM

Article image
CD review: Kristin Hersh: In the Grotto

(4AD)

Betty Clarke

14, Mar, 2003 @2:48 AM

Article image
Throwing Muses: Sun Racket review – intense as ever
The US indie rockers go back to basics on their atmospheric 10th album

Phil Mongredien

06, Sep, 2020 @12:00 PM

Article image
Throwing Muses' Kristin Hersh: 'I knew integrity would pull me into the gutter'
With their 10th album inspired by a near-death ordeal, the alt-rock heroes discuss seeing their peers sell out as they stayed defiantly on the fringes

Daniel Dylan Wray

09, Sep, 2020 @1:24 PM

Article image
CD: Scott: Symphony No 3, The Muses; Piano Concerto No 2; Neptune: Shelley/ Brabbins, et al

(Chandos)

Andrew Clements

07, May, 2004 @2:07 AM

CD: Underworld, A Hundred Days Off

(V2)

Alexis Petridis

13, Sep, 2002 @1:03 AM

Article image
School Disco is top of the class

Dance culture is in crisis, with takings at the superclubs plummeting and big-name DJs charging crippling fees. But one club is booming - a place where nostalgia rules and lager is the drug of choice. Alexis Petridis on the phenomenon of School Disco.com.

Alexis Petridis

05, Jul, 2002 @3:15 PM

Article image
Comment: Why pop is poorer for Aaliyah's loss

R&B star Aaliyah died in a plane crash on Saturday aged only 22, but already her career had been one of unusual daring. Alexis Petridis explains why pop music is the poorer for her loss.

Alexis Petridis

31, Aug, 2001 @2:51 PM