Throwing Muses: Purgatory/Paradise – review

(The Friday Project)

Two years ago, Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh told the Guardian that every time she writes a song she gets suicidal urges, which makes the band's first album in over a decade somewhat troubling. Housed in a hardback book and issued by a publisher rather than a record company, it includes photos, prose lyrics and a CD containing no less than 32 songs-cum-suicidal urges. "You can go to hell, maybe see me there," she yells in Slippershell, which most echoes the Muses of old, who emerged from Rhode Island in the late 1980s and sounded like duelling voices hurtling from an elemental storm. There's no Tanya Donelly now, of course. Hersh is now a middle-aged mum with a voice that's coarser than it was, but with rhythm section Dave Narcizo and Bernard Georges giving the required oomph, the songs still bewitchingly combine beauty and tension. They're quieter and less raging than they were, but retain the nagging pull of their creator's creative disturbance. As Hersh puts it, "Nothing's perfect but the weather."


Dave Simpson

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/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: Throwing Muses: Throwing Muses


Betty Clarke

14, Mar, 2003 @2:48 AM

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
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
Giant Drag – review

Annie Hardy's wry fatalism lifts her set – along with her knack of giggling dizzily through inevitable despair, writes Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

18, Sep, 2013 @5:18 PM

Article image
20,000 Days on Earth review – Nick Cave muses on his artistic legacy
This absorbing film follows the Australian musician as he ponders life, work and Lionel Richie on reaching the grand old age of 20,000 days, writes Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw

19, Sep, 2014 @9:08 AM

Article image
Paradoxical Undressing by Kristin Hersh – review
Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh's teenage memoir is all the better for having a former Hollywood star at its heart, writes Carole Cadwalladr

Carole Cadwalladr

16, Jan, 2011 @12:05 AM

Article image
Warpaint: Warpaint – review
Warpaint's second album is so muted and restrained as to be barely there, but close listening does reap some rewards, writes Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

16, Jan, 2014 @3:00 PM

Article image
Torres: Torres – review
Nasville-based Mackenzie Scott's stark confessionals sound like the first flowerings of a major new talent, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

05, Dec, 2013 @9:30 PM