Throwing Muses'
The Real Ramona

Punk Planet | November/December 2004

It was in the late ’80s when the tide began to turn. College radio charts began to document the bands that were truly at the helm of innovating a stifled rock scene. Playing a pivotal role in the formative years of, what would later become, modern or “alternative” rock was an unsuspecting band from the “Littlest State in the Union.” Steered by stepsisters Kristin Hersh (vocals/guitar) and Tanya Donelly (guitar/vocals), Rhode Island’s Throwing Muses were the first American band signed to England’s prestigious 4AD record label. Their fourth (and final album with Donelly aboard), The Real Ramona, is the quintessence of the band: witty, spry, and ghostly. Hersh and Donelly’s ethereal harmonies reverberate through the album, weaving into their dual—charging and angular—guitar melodies, with Dave Narcizo’s drums hammering out equal parts tribal and punk, and Fred Abong’s bass deepening and lulling the rhythms. What made Throwing Muses so unique was their fearless foray into an unknown sound that, appropriately enough, ended up being the American parallel of the Brit shoegaze upstarts. More importantly, the Hersh and Donelly duo became icons of ingenuity whose music took those of us trapped in the smallest corner of the country into their own expansive, eccentric world.