Kirstin Hersh and her band Throwing Muses have come a long way from a mid-’80 s genesis when Hersh’s youthful fire made up for the band’s lack of focus.
While her words of hopeful struggle are still as unintelligible as ever, her bandmates’ growth as live performers has lifted the Boston-based trio, augmented here by keyboardist Robert Rust, to a level where the Muses surely must be considered as worthy of serious notice as any recent alternative breakthrough act.
Propelled by the steady complexity of David Narcizo’s impressive drum fills and the provocative bass lines of Bernard Georges, the Muses were consistently engaging, though the promise of Hersh finally losing her sheepish stage manner does leave still more room for improvement.
But from the first spooky chords of instrumental show starter “University,” the title-track from the band’s current Sire/Reprise album, to the concert’s end , Throwing Muses boasted an engaging and reasonably unusual style, one that leaves the impression that this is surely a band from whom great things can imminently be expected.
Opening act Ass Ponys was a monumental disappointment.
The subject of many recent proclamations of greatness, the Cincinnati roots rockers were surprisingly awful.
As if Chuck Cleaver’s grating vocals weren’t bad enough, the other three musicians’ tired Americana delivery was foul enough to send many attendees to the lobby for an early intermission.