Being a veteran in the music industry – unless you’re one of the mega stars, with a back catalogue which can be endlessly repackaged for a new generation of suckers – is increasingly taking on the status of being an endangered species. Throwing Muses are so far on from their early-90’s creative peak (Hunkpapa, The Real Ramona, Red Heaven) that it barely registers in the rear view mirror – and if there’s any internal pressure to make “hit” records again, Sun Racket certainly doesn’t convey that impression.
It is at least more straightforward than it’s predecessor, the bumpy Purgatory/Paradise, a project which grew arms and legs into multimedia. This time Kristin Hersh and friends have played it straighter, or at least what passes for orthodox in their slightly frazzled lexicon, opener Dark Blue wheezing with all the familiar alley-cat throb of their alt-rock heritage.
Hersh is happy to let everyone know that more than thirty years on, the trio are acting more on instinct than structure, although Bo Diddley Bridge, St.Charles and the bluesy howl of Frosting are each raspingly pugnacious enough to suggest that there’s plenty of spontaneous heft in them yet. There are reflective moments though, especially the plaintive Milk At McDonalds and Kay Catherine’s ghostly Americana. They may be a rare species now, but Sun Racket proves Throwing Muses don’t belong in a museum just yet.
You can read the full review here.