Throwing Muses seemed like merely another innocuous musical experiment of the early-’80s,but soon placed several of its quirky tracks on the college radio and alternative charts, eventually scoring album deals with respected labels 4AD, Rykodisc and even Sire Records. Beginning in Newport, Rhode Island in 1981, the group was anchored by singer/songwriter Kristin Hersh and her step-sister Tanya Donelly, who defined a somewhat Lennon/McCartney-type partnership with Hersh on the edge stylistically and Donelly writing closer towards the pop universe. With two female lead singers and a third member, Leslie Langston on bass, Throwing Muses featured only one designated male, David Narcizo, who brought an always-inventive drum style to the table. Displaying a classic embrace of being true to itself, Throwing Muses created challenging original music with off-beat themes and often disturbing, brutally honest lyrics. Still, their songs were modern rock hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Their highest position — 1989’s “Dizzy” — was #8 on the U.S. chart. Critical success and interest didn’t necessarily sell an incredible amount of albums, but the band continued on in altered forms until ’03. Donelly had left back in 1991 to form the Breeders and Belly, eventually going solo, as did Hersh for a time. But who knows? Throwing Muses could revive at any moment. In the meantime, the band’s legacy of more than 25 EP’s, cassettes and albums is a true New England music achievement, and the powerful female chemistry served as an inspiration for a host of women who vamped on the Muses model to begin their own alt-rock groups.
(by Carter Alan)
Published on December 28, 2012