Music » CD Reviews

50 Foot Wave

50 Foot Wave EP

(Throwing Music) Last year, Kristin Hersh released two lackluster albums -- a flat Throwing Muses reunion disc and Grotto, a solo LP quiet enough to ignore -- instead of a single great one. Entirely removed from her solo career's unplugged elegance, 50 Foot Wave's self-titled debut EP is everything that the Muses' relapse should have been.

Backed by Muses bassist Bernard Georges, the downstroking Hersh shows off as a guitarist like never before, playing and writing like a self-loathing ex-punk who can't quite shake the habit. Hersh's head is still home to the volatile twentysomething who slugged her way from club to club, and the long-married woman sounds like she's keeping a tenuous grip on bipolar disorder.

Songs like "Clara's Bow" don't echo marital bliss: "I didn't use you/But I wish I had/I never liked you/But I wish I did." Hersh looks at her adult life as a betrayal, the family house as the scene of emotional claustrophobia: "You have a stone-cold picture of a girlfriend/And a celibate wife/You're in no shape to argue/But you're ready for a fight," she growls in "Bug." The name of her new power trio suggests an obliterating force of nature in sync with lunar cycles. That's Hersh. -- D.X. Ferris

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.