Kristin Hersh, lead singer and guitarist with both 50 foot wave and Throwing Muses is perhaps one of the most underrated musicians of all time. Not only has she written all of the lyrics and music for both bands, but she has sang those lyrics, too, whilst playing guitar. There are very few people in the music business who have tackled lyrics, music and voice AND managed to not only pull it off, but pull it off with gusto AND make it look easy.
For this reason, I consider her one of the most important frontwomen ever, and this 50 Foot Wave EP proves that she goes from strength to strength. Gone is the subtle, understated, laid-back music characteristic of Throwing Muses, in favour of a harder, edgier and much more powerful sound. The guitars are louder and the riffs are longer, whilst the drummer is working overtime to provide drumbeats which sound larger than life itself. To top all of this, Kristin's voice has changed too. It is now a throaty yell, charismatic and powerful.
'Clara Bow' in particular is fast-paced rock which is reminiscent of the grunge era, but distinctive enough not to be completely retrogressive. I also found it to be rather moreish, until eventually my play count of this song reached the hundreds. 'Lavender' and 'Dog Days' are both the same - growers. 'Dog Days', however, contains a riff which sounds utterly iconic, urging me to ask the question: "why aren't this band more well-known?" The answer, I think, lies in the fact that Kristin Hersh has never pushed for major fame, which is admirable. I am certain that many musicians owe her a great debt for the many years of skilful music she has written. This, her latest offering, can only add even more credibility to the entire Kristin Hersh body of work.