Reviewed by Andrew Bartlett
Throwing Muses might’ve sounded at their inception like a fidgety, angle-heavy postpunk dream (cofounders Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly were mere teenagers!); as a trio in 1996 they sound particularly fierce. With Donelly long gone from the band, the former quartet has an oddly fatter sound, maybe thanks to their major-label experience in big-sounding studios with big-minded production. But with Limbo, Hersh, bassist Bernard Georges, and drummer David Narcizo not only founded their own label, Throwing Music, they settled into existence as a rock band that sounds as if they’re on the verge of a spastic explosion. Musically, the three make grandly tense music, with Hersh alternating windy sing-song vocals and a forking, brusque delivery that reaches near-shouting levels in swift bursts. The Muses haven’t sounded as frontally propelled in some time, here dashing into the loud bash of a song’s chorus and there sticking to more regularly timed tempos and rhythms. There’s little musical indication here that the band was on the verge of breakup, and Hersh’s solo career seems a continuation of any of several Muses threads followed on Limbo (or on The Real Ramona or Hunkpapa, for that matter).