House Tornado


House Tornado has always felt like the album that perfectly captured the spirit and creativity of the best-known line-up of Throwing Muses (Kristin Hersh, Tanya Donelly, Leslie Langston and David Narcizo). It’s a circular construction – from the fade-in of “Colder” to the fade-out (on the same chord) of “Walking In The Dark”, House Tornado feels a very consciously designed album. But within that design, plenty of unexpected things happen, from the glittering, cyclical riffs that interlock like cogs on “Mexican Women”, to the dewy-eyed acoustic lament of “Run Letter”, through the cow-punk skip and sway of “Drive”. Their self-titled debut was from 1986, maybe, more immediately revelatory, but House Tornado is their most lasting statement.

Jon Dale

For their second full album, Throwing Muses worked with Gary Smith as producer, a simpatico combination that resulted in the original lineup’s strongest album, vividly unusual and striking on the one hand and intensely and immediately catchy on the other, a triumph of 80s left of center rock as such. Kristen Hersh’s exploratory vocals and lyrics remained the core while the rough shimmer of her and Tanya Donelly’s guitars continued the feeling of something unexpected, even as Donelly’s songs found ways to be comparatively straightforward and just as strong.

Ned Raggett