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Throwing Muses

Boston’s Throwing Muses introduced a feminine sensibility that made a mockery of banal notions of ‘Women In Rock’.

Over abruptly shifting guitar chord patterns, Kristin Hersh (later diagnosed as manic-depressive) sang as if undergoing an exorcism or speaking in tongues.

Carrying Hersh’s voice were her own colossal guitar, and one of the finest rhythm sections ever assembled: a succession of elegant, sinuous bass players and drummer David Narcizo, a deceptively diffident hybrid of The Attractions‘ Pete Thomas and Blondie‘s Clem Burke.

It’s not overly fanciful to perceive the Muses and The Pixies – they toured together frequently when they first emerged – as the bridge from the punk-influenced American college rock of the 1980s to the grunge of the 1990s.


They were a band capable of the most exquisite prettiness, such as on the fragile and spectral Two Step, which served as the finale of their fifth (and poppiest) album, The Real Ramona (1991).

They could also summon enormous squalls of rage. Furious from Red Heaven (1992) rendered much of the output of the contemporary grunge boom somewhat milquetoast by comparison.

Hersh broke up the group in 1992 and formed an outfit called Belly with her bandmate and stepsister, Tanya Donelly. She released her first solo album, Hips and Makers in 1994.

Kristin Hersh restored Throwing Muses, though, for 1995 album, University, with original member David Narcizo on drums and former roadie Bernard Georges on bass.

Kristin Hersh
Guitar, piano, vocals
Tanya Donelly
Guitar, vocals
Leslie Langston
Bass, vocals
David Narcizo
Fred Abong
Bernard Georges