Kristen Hersh is an artist I have slightly mxed feeling about. I was very struck by the first Throwing Music album when it came out in 1986 and played it loads. I'm not sure I've bought a record she plays on since, possibly her solo career highlight Hips & Makers.
The reasons for this slight ambivalence of mine towards Hersh's work are all over her latest release, Black Pearl the latest album from one of her projects Rock trio 50 Foot Wave.
They've put out seven albums in all since 2004 though I haven't really been aware of them since listening to their latest Black Pearl the other day.
It's trademark Hersh right from the off. Gothic melodrama. Spiralling, freeform guitars. Harpie, asylum bound shrieking Hersh vocals. Straightjacket indie. Hersh's long term issues with schizophrenia have been well documented, most of all by herself since Throwing Muses' earliest days and her records have always throbbed with unease, pain and anger.
My reaction was much the same as my reaction to most of the records she's associated with. Black Pearl is perfectly competent without really having a single song that really strikes home. Once more I think I'll be leaving it to her devotees.
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