Throwing Muses offshoot 50FOOTWAVE are back with their first release in four years and it’s a real humdinger.
Louder, faster and heavier than you might expect, the Bath White EP packs more of a punch into its six-tracks than most artists manage on a double album.
A power trio made up of Muses’ Kristin Hersh and Bernard Georges, along with drummer Rob Ahlers, 50FOOTWAVE have been playing together since 2003 and, on this evidence, they’re a pretty tight outfit.
Chock-full of Hersh’s characteristic circular riffs, idiosyncratic lyrics and unusual song structures, this mini math-rock masterpiece is a dazzling mix of sonic sophistication and raw punk energy.
‘I wanna go faster; Hersh rasps on St. Christopher and she sure ain’t kidding. Make no mistake this record really rocks.
Title track Bath White employs a similar loud-quiet dynamic as former 4AD label mates Pixies, but the heavier sound recalls Bob Mould‘s classic ’90s three-piece Sugar.
The provocatively-titled God’s Not A Dick showcases the interplay between Hersh’s vibrant power chords and Georges’ undulating, sinuous bass.
Human and the aforementioned St. Christopher are exercises in controlled aggression, the band slipping seamlessly between multiple time signatures, powered along by Ahler’s Octopus-like stickwork.
Ratted Out is the nearest they get to classic Muses, while closer Sun Salute is like the best of prog-rock without all the boring bits.
A shimmering, effervescent little dime of an album, this is one of the best things you’ll hear all year. Hersh has never sounded happier.