This is where the Throwing Muses started and as good as future releases were, This was their greatest moment. You want angst?, You want emotion? You want to cry floods of tears? You want to hear a singer going through a complete breakdown? This has got all that and more. To pick out stand out tracks seems pointless here as there is not a weak one amongst the ten tracks. However, 'Hate My Way' is possibly the greatest song ever committed to vinyl, CD whatever. FACT 'I could be a smack freak and hate society' - And so 'Hate My Way' Starts. Thirty seconds in, and I am angry and despairing, suddenly as Kristins voice softens tears well, A minute in Kristin Screams ' My pillow screams' you scream , you are caught by the music and you are uplifted , you hear her voice and you are touched by a sad beauty. And so it goes on. And then the killer line ' and how do they kill children, and why do I want to die' ' they cannot rule , i cannot be still - I hate my way'. This song in my mind, I have carried with me for nigh on fifteen years and its power has never left me. There are other stand outs from the clarion call of 'Call Me' which sprints off on a scorching pace and then three minutes, slows down and mutates into a fiery emotional end. Here, you get a first taste of Kristin Hersh's incredibly raw and emotional vocals. Suddenly, next track is up and we are into 'Green'and here is Kristin's voice in all it's raw beauty with the instruments working in harmony giving a wonderfully distorted beauty. With a title like 'Rabbit's Dying' you could not be blamed for thinking that this album is too dark but but you would be wrong - This is a joyous wig out which never ceases to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step.Read more ›
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Throwing Muses first 'proper' album came out in 1986, when The Smiths were at the height of their powers. But where The Smiths represented the everyday teenage angst familiar to many, Throwing Muses offered a far darker and more frightening account of severe mental distress.
Singer, guitarist and songwriter Kristin Hersh said at the time that the songs weren't really hers, that she was merely the conduit for them, and the album has a sense of something that is barely under control, which could spin off on its own course at any moment. And it is brilliant. Each and every song is so complete, so captivating, that most songwriters would give their right arm to have written just one - here we have a whole album full. They form a dense whirl of cyclical guitar patterns, shifting tempos and fractured vocals; but this is no dirge. The guitar parts can shimmer with a glittering energy, and David Narcizo's unconventional (he started off in marching bands) and superb drumming provides a powerful spring in the Muses step.
Several songs (America, Rabbits Dying) possess a sprightly, almost manic energy, although they can turn in on themselves, with claustrophobia and dark thoughts never far away. Delicate Cutters is extraordinary, a sparse and jagged 'self-harm nightmare'. But the real highlight is Hate My Way, one of the most emotionally loaded, terrifying and gut-wrenchingly sad songs you are ever likely to hear. When Kristin sings "so I sit up late in the morning and ask myself again, how do they kill children? And why do I want to die?" and chokes on the last line, I choke too.
At this remove, 22 years later, listening to this feels somewhat voyeuristic. But like all the best stuff, this is music made by people who felt totally compelled to make it. And she's a lot better these days.
Buy this record. Really. Throwing Muses were one of the most extraordinary guitar bands to ever form, and this was their best work.
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