This month's selection are Throwing Muses. Again like Joan Armatrading, who I discovered last month, I had only heard of Throwing Muses in reference to other bands and in casual conversation. I know little to nothing about them so lets discover something new.
Throwing Muses are a post-punk/ alternative rock band that formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island. The band consisted of Kristen Hersh on vocals and guitar, Tanya Donelly (later of Breeders and Belly) on guitar and David Narcizo on drums. The band has had various line up changes over the years and now consists of Hersh, Narcizo and Bernard Georges, who has been part of the band since 1992, on bass.
What set Throwing Muses apart from other bands coming out of the America alternative rock scene in the 80s was Hersh's vocal warblings, her surreal lyrics and their creative, unorthodox song structures.
The first song I heard was Bright Yellow Gun from their 1995 album University, a song that propelled the band into the mainstream and saw them getting coverage in The Rolling Stone and other major music magazines. This song grabbed me from the opening glommy, heavy hook and had me spinning round the room. It's even better when you watch them live and see Hersh writhing behind her mic.
Another great from University is Shimmer which is a great 90s noise track.
"Don't follow me home. Don't follow me home."
Counting Backwards, an earlier song from their 1992 The Real Ramona LP, is an upbeat song that relies on the vocal harmonies of Donelly and Hersh and the ever present harsh guitar riff that we hear throughout the song.
The last song I want to share with you is Not Too Soon which is also from The Real Ramona and sees Donelly take lead vocals. It is a sweet almost poppy song that kinda reminds me of the late 80s C86 bands.
I love Throwing Muses. Their original, thrash, candid take on alternative music is amazing and can be heard in their side projects from Belly to 50 Foot Wave.
Definately recommended for anyone with a penchant for loud 90s music and Sonic Youth like lyrical craziness.
For more information: kristinhersh.com