The record that changed the way I thought about music
Lord Shipley | Bradford, UK | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this LP on a recommendation from a trusted source of good musical taste. It was quite an early record in my record buying career: it was 1987 and I was 16 at the time. Up until then I'd been getting into slightly more obscure music (Bauhaus being a notable example), but finding it somewhat lacking after a few listens. Then came Throwing Muses. The first track, 'Call Me', was just a jaw-dropping moment, first listen (up till then most records I had I had had to listen to a couple of times to get into them). This just connected instantly, even though it is not exactly classic easy listening. The sound was incredibly original then, and I think it still is. Nothing I've heard since is really anything like it, even the later TM LPs don't have the same impact. The LP continues into 'Green' and 'Hate My Way', the Holy Trinity of the LP forming the best opening sequence of songs of any LP I've ever heard. 'Hate My Way' is the stand out track, gut-wrenchingly beautiful, yet incredibly bleak. You can really feel the suffering without having the remotest idea how to relate to it.
Lyrically and musically this is simply great music. Clever people really thinking hard about what they're doing and making something achingly beautiful. Many people of around my age who were into a certain scene at a certain time know and cherish this record. I still listen to the same vinyl copy I bought 18 years ago regularly, and doing so is an intensely evocative experience, bringing back memories of the discovery that there was more to music than simply 'good' and 'bad' songs. There were songs that could make you sit up and reevaluate everything you'd heard before against an entirely new yardstick. Every crackle and scratch brings it all home."
A landmark album in indie rock with outstanding musicianship
Christopher Culver | 10/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Throwing Muses began a group of New England youngsters who became the first American band on the influential British label 4AD. As a result of this inter-continental signing their self-titled first album was ironically never available domestically in the United States, one could get it only as an import from savvy record shops. However, the record was later re-issued in the collection IN A DOGHOUSE on Rykodisc, see my November 2002 review of that release.
THROWING MUSES was one of the most influential indie albums of the 1980's, with its raw sound that preshadowed the Pixies and grunge rock. The superb musical talent of this quartet is what makes this album stand out. David Narcizo, recognized as a drumming legend hardly out of high school, provides a distinctive sound by eschewing cymbals. His ability to jump from one complex time signature to another has always remained the Muses' greatest strength. Bassist Leslie Langston gives quite a punch, especially on songs like "Fear" and "Soul Soldier". Finally, the duo of half-sisters Kristin Hersh and Tonya Donnelly, on rhythm guitar and lead guitar respectively, provided a razor-sharp sound that accompanied the lyrics perfectly. During this time Hersh suffered an extreme form of bipolar disorder that caused her to hallucinate, resulted in lyrics like a William S. Burroughs novel. This fierceness, together with the outstanding musical ability, made the early Throwing Muses an even more original band.
If you've never heard Throwing Muses but like any of the acts ever signed to the 4AD label, especially the Pixies, THROWING MUSES (ideally with the superb additional material on IN A DOGHOUSE) is a sure bet for excellent music."