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Aproach with caution
on 3 January 2010
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 .