9 February 1988
On their second album and first major-label release, Throwing Muses apply more polish, craft, and melody to the challenging style they forged on their debut. The pop sheen on songs like "Colder" and "Saving Grace" makes their sudden dynamic shifts and tempo changes more accessible without dulling them. Kristin Hersh finds ways to mold her complex music into more straightforward song structures, particularly on "Juno" and "Run Letter." Tanya Donelly develops her own songwriting voice with "River" and "Giant," though both songs still feel like self-conscious attempts to blend with Hersh's material. "Marriage Tree" and "Mexican Women" flesh out the Muses' unique take on country-tinged post-punk; "Saving Grace" and "Walking in the Dark" are two of the group's best stream-of-consciousness meditations. House Tornado isn't quite as wild a ride as Throwing Muses' debut, but the album does prove that the band could expand on its unique sound without sacrificing any originality.
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