Saying that her music comes from a dark place is kinda like saying that there was a Tuesday last week.
That’s been the case going all the way back to the very first Throwing Muses album. She tends to write in an impressionistic, evocative manner, so if you’re looking for straight narrative you’ll have to look elsewhere. If you want to know precisely what she’s singing/ yelping/ screaming, may I recommend the lyrics page at the Throwing Music Web site?
I spent about a week thinking that the last line of “Bone China” went “Last chance nymphomania / somehow desexualized / I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair / and shove him in through my eyes”, when it is actually “soap him into my eyes”. And, while I maintain that my version is better (Kristin, if you’re reading, feel free to use it), it’s still a good line. Other faves include “don’t touch me / I don’t know where you’ve been” from “Dog Days”, and, from the theme song for those of use afflicted with Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, “Clara Bow”: “Yes, alright, I can / with sunburned lips, I can bitch / about another stupid summer."
At last, someone understands!
Hersh’s vocals have been described as being the scariest in rock & roll. Well, scary is relative. Diamonda Galas would give her a run for the money, but otherwise it’s a fairly accurate assessment. She veers from “slightly stressed girl-next-door” to “girl-next-door possessed by unspeakable demons” at the drop of a hat. I wonder if she uses the Scary Voice when disciplining her children. You wouldn’t be able to do it all the time, but judicious use would be incredibly effective. Either that or it would scar the little guys for life.
Standout cuts? For my money – “Bone China” (a somewhat distressed internal monologue), “ Petal” (memories of teenage hormonal hijinx gone awry), “Sally Is A Girl” (no clue what it’s about, really, but there’s a nice post-Nirvana pushme-pullyou loud/soft tension to it), and the three holdovers from the EP… sorry, “mini-album” they released last year, “Long Painting”, “Clara Bow”, and “Dog Days”. Which is not to slight the other songs, but you asked. (Don’t worry, Mummy loves you all the same.)
My friends, do not be fooled by cheap imitations – loud is and will continue to be “loud” for the foreseeable future. Quiet, on the other hand, is the new “boring”.