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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1987's classic album with bonus mini-LP.
House Tornado was the strongest release of the early part of Throwing Muses career- advancing on the brilliant eponymous debut. As with the CD-version of The Pixies Surfer Rosa, this cd issue comes with a bonus mini-LP- in the form of The Fat Skier.
Tanya Donelly is advancing as a songwriter here- River is as good as the brilliant Green from the debut & her other...
Published on 17 Feb 2003 by Jason Parkes

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aproach with caution
There was always always a beautiful antiphasis that made both Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly such exciting artists to follow : Back in her Belly days , Donelly was one of the cutest girls to grab and electric guitar and was so damn happy while singing about dead lovers locked in the cellar and decapitated dolls . Hersh , a mother of four , living a quiet family life ,...
Published on 3 Jan 2010 by giovanni


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1987's classic album with bonus mini-LP., 17 Feb 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: House Tornado (Audio CD)
House Tornado was the strongest release of the early part of Throwing Muses career- advancing on the brilliant eponymous debut. As with the CD-version of The Pixies Surfer Rosa, this cd issue comes with a bonus mini-LP- in the form of The Fat Skier.
Tanya Donelly is advancing as a songwriter here- River is as good as the brilliant Green from the debut & her other track Giant sounds like the Go Betweens playing a Belly song. Kristin Hersh dominates for the most part- Juno, Colder, Drive, Mexican Woman & Walking in the Dark as good as it gets. This is an album to get lost in- & was not topped by the following releases, which contained some great songs- but were more commercial (see Hunkpapa, The Real Ramona). The Fat Skier bonus tracks are as great as the Chains Changed ep (also of this era, sadly not included)- Garoux Des Lames sounding like an avant garde Blondie, though it is Pools in Eyes & ballad A Feeling that stand out.
This CD is excellent value at this budget price, definitely one for deep dark nighttime- Walking in the Dark being the key song- Hersh's subtle piano motif underpinning something between alt-country & the avant garde (such as the frequent shifts in rhythm, which recall The Slits). Certainly one of the key albums of the late 80s & easily up there with such releases as Liberty Belle & the Black Diamond Express, Fables of the Reconstruction & Mary Margaret O'Hara's only album...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.... but very challenging., 25 Jun 2011
This review is from: House Tornado (Audio CD)
It's interesting to read the other reviews and discover that most found House Tornado a challenge to begin with; because when I first heard this album back in 1988 I hated it! As did the friend who had introduced me to Throwing Muses via their first album and the excellent Chains Changed EP. We just couldn't work out what they'd done and why.

However, something - I think it was the bizarre lyrics - drew us back to it and little by little, song by song, it worked it's magic on us. You need to get accustomed to a slightly different way of listening to spot the clues that tell you what's going on, since they are not in the normal places and vary from track to track. And this takes a lot of listens! In this way it seems to be somewhat more complex than their first album (which is saying something).

Now I would still rate the album as one of their best, or maybe even THE best. Mainly because Throwing Muses always seemed to be about being a little "off-kilter", and they never got more off-kilter than this!

Note for potential purchasers: If you are not terribly familiar with the Throwing Muses sound this is probably not the best place to start - try the Real Ramona first and work back from there.

One more thing: I'm not sure it gains anything from the addition of the Fat Skier EP. I'll give it 5 stars for the original House Tornado tracks alone, and ignore the others I think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Current favourite, 23 Feb 2010
By 
Joey Ramone (Sheffield, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: House Tornado (Audio CD)
I bought this because our cassette tape which my partner bought when the album was released has got water damage. It's wonderful to listen to this recording again, and it's become my current favourite. There are so many wonderful songs on here, and the addition of the mini LP "The Fat Skier" is a real bonus; it's another album we have on cassette but has really grown on me; "a feeling" is a beautiful song and it sounds to me like their version of prog rock, in a way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If it ain't broke don't fix it, 25 Dec 2013
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This review is from: House Tornado (Audio CD)
Their debut album is one of the most unique albums around. Incredible stuff. This, their second, is just as good and continues in the same vein as the previous but starts to broaden out in scope. After this, they would get a bit more commercial sounding, which ruined it for me.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The high-point of Throwing Muses, which is saying a lot..., 3 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: House Tornado (Audio CD)
This album is virtually perfect. The beauty of some of the textual and melodic structures is frequently physically staggering. The vocals of Kristin Hersh on this record are halfway between compassion and sarcasm, and that twilight emotional hue is the essence of the political and musical ground we're treading here. This is barely a 'pop' record at all, being as it is so thoroughly loaded with artistic density. The rhythms and phrase-proportions lend a structural originality and irregularity only normally found in modernist composers such as Nono or Gerald Barry. The language is American politeness refined to perfection, at once smilingly clever and direct in its expression of pure abstract intensity. Buy this remarkable record if you love classical music, art-poetry or the finest artistic achievements of American underground pop. This is one to cherish as much as your deepest, most painfully permanent love.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aproach with caution, 3 Jan 2010
This review is from: House Tornado (Audio CD)
There was always always a beautiful antiphasis that made both Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly such exciting artists to follow : Back in her Belly days , Donelly was one of the cutest girls to grab and electric guitar and was so damn happy while singing about dead lovers locked in the cellar and decapitated dolls . Hersh , a mother of four , living a quiet family life , rocks even harder and more aggresive now with her new band 50th Foot Wave . Back in the 80's though , the Throwing Muses sounded and were according to interviews , deeply troubled .

THere are many things one can admire in 1987's House Tornado . First of all the brave , unsettling songwriting , consantly changing speeds and moods and ofcourse Hersh's risky , raw vocals . The music shouts out loud ' allergic to top 40 ' . " Juno " and " Gaurux de Larmes " are out of control and wonderful , " A Feeling " a dark , beautiful love song while " Pools In Eyes " finds Donelly all childlike hysteric singing aboout how " i found a little squierel , little dead , little neck , little fist / why did i think of you ? " In a world of global culture where cd releases often focus more on sex-appeal ( r'n'b ) or style ( teen pop ) the Muses can and should be proud of the fact that the made music with personallity, stuff one can use as self defining .

Ofcourse there's another way of looking at it ... people unfamiliar with the Muses' sound will find House Tornado simply too difficult to embrace . It takes a lot of energy and petience to get into their music in generall and it's hard to guess how many listeners will be willing to bother . The lyricsare charmingly mad for some yet totally uncomprenhensible for others . " Marriage Tree " starts off with the line " an old man in a dress / treat me like an 12 year old man " . The tricky confessions continue in " Soap And Water " . " I caught 3 stars and grilled them " declares Hersh . The themes of the songs are blurry . The group often seems to be on this other world of theirs . Ofcourse for many , that is exactly what makes them so essential .

There are no bad tracks in this album there's nothing though as captivating as Hunkpapa's " Bea " or as exceptional as " Hook In Her Head " from The Real Ramona , arguably the band's best offering which every rock fan with a good taste and not necessarily a Throwing Muses fan can enjoy .

A hate-it-or-love-it case then , House Tornado might not be the masterpiece devoted Muses followers claim it to be but is surely a challenge for the listener , something that gets more and more rare to find in a genuin form as years go by .
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House Tornado
House Tornado by Throwing Muses (Audio CD - 2001)
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