NME Review of <>

Written by David Thorpe on Tue, 29 Sep 1998 13:52:26 +0100.

I find it difficult to believe that the NME have reduced one of my most treasured albums to a comparison with emerson lake and palmer (apparently if it weren't played so badly).

In A Doghouse
Review by Jim Wirth (spit!)
Rating 6/10
(C) Copyright IPC Magazines, etc.

SELF-DELUSION IS A TERRIBLE THING. "I swear to God we thought we were a party band," pleads erstwhile Muses chanteuse Kristin Hersh in the sleevenote. Needless to say, this lovingly packaged two-CD set comprising the Throwing Muses' first steps on the road to college rock ubiquity would sit uncomfortably next to the Twiglets and cans of Sven lager at all but the most psychotic soirees.

Bedsit-confined misanthropes, however, can languish in their fetid torpor in the knowledge that 'In A Doghouse' contains more than you could ever want to know about the early Muses. There's their first self-titled album, the home-produced 'Doghouse Cassette' which preceded it, the 'Chains Changed' EP, a clutch of unreleased tracks and an enhanced CD.

Wailing banshee bobbins it might be for much of the time, but there's a scattershot beauty to it. In the grand uber-fem tradition of The Slits, The Raincoats and Hole, melodies wander around at unexpected tangents and tunes speed up and slow down with unerring frequency. This would be Emerson, Lake And Palmer if it weren't played so badly.

"It reminds you of blow jobs", mutters the loopy Hersh on 'Vicky's Box'. Perhaps, but only if you've tried to get one off a family pet.

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