Possible Dust Clouds is the tenth solo studio album from Throwing Muses leader Kristin Hersh. It’s an album of contrasts, dark and light, loud and quiet, chaos and calm. It’s her first for Fire Records and is being ‘bigged up’ as return to form, and we know the heights that form has reached in the past. LP and CD on Fire.
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Not really a massive fan of Throwing Muses so I don't know how that is going to affect what I'm going to say but I really like this Kristin Hersh album. We've played it several times in the office and although one person asked for it to be turned off immediately, I think most of us have been secretly enjoying it.
Like our office it's loud and boisterous and with distorted clattering going on. The opener 'Lax' sets the scene with heavily compressed drum thwacks and noisy grungy guitars over which Hersh (slightly hoarse in her older years) emotes effectively. Her grainy larynx is more noticeable on the softer acoustic bits of the album (for there are some) but she's a growling grimacing menace throughout and the heavy grungy production style helps hide any vocal limitations she has these days. I'm very keen on 'Halfway Home' which starts in acoustic style but soon erupts into an unusually structured thing. Hersh harmonises with her self by way of wordless hollers which eventually coagulate into a triumphant end section where all her whoops and hollers make sense. Who knew Kristin Hersh could sound so vital in 2018? This is a much more structured effort than 2017s 'Wyatt at Coyote Palace' which often sounded like Hersh blasted out everything she had in one long session and splurted it onto vinyl without further consideration.
This album though does far better justice to her past work, expanding on the themes both musically and lyrically that she mined in Throwing Muses. It's a blast af alt rock that should sit quite nicely next to the Breeders return to form album from earlier this year.
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