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 is a Guardian music critic and author