Editors’ Notes Released after a decade-long hiatus in 2013, Throwing Muses’ Purgatory / Paradise captured the band’s tumultuous essence in a 32-song labyrinth of jagged guitars, mutable time signatures, false endings, and Kristin Hersh’s feral vocals. Seven years later, Sun Racket is a very different kind of record: heady, hypnotic, and more heavily focused on groove than ever before—particularly in chugging wall-of-sound onslaughts like the opening “Dark Blue” and the molten, almost doomy “Upstairs Dan.” But Sun Racket’s treatment of the band feels essential in its own way: The mournful storytelling of “Maria Laguna” flashes back to the cockeyed portraiture of the Muses’ 1986 debut album, while the gorgeous harmonies of “Milk at McDonald’s” boasts the tunefulness that the group brought to its major-label albums in the '90s. Snarling, surprising, and full of heart, it’s a record bound to please fans yet also the perfect entry point for the uninitiated—and a confirmation that 35 years since their demo cassette, Hersh and her bandmates answer to no muse but their own.

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