on 5 July 2013
It seems a crying shame that there isn't a review of this fantastic album on Amazon UK so I will include this one that I wrote for my blog entry, My 100 Best Albums of the Last 30 Years (just google The Crozier Report for more!).
One of the most unusual bands to ever come down the pike, Thin White Rope defy categorisation. From the bizarre cover art and band name (taken from a description of ejaculate by the inimitable William Burroughs) to the name of the album, its a head scratcher right from the get go. And the picture doesn't get any clearer once you lower the needle on the first track of side one either. The first thing that jumps out at you from opening track Not Your Fault is the weird tremulous voice of singer Guy Kyser. It's a unique voice, and when combined with the warped slide guitar of lead axe murderer Roger Kunkel, it quickly dawns that you're in the presence of a true original.
The band hailed from somewhere out in the desert in southern California and undoubtedly this spooky environment informed their music considerably. It has a rural otherworldly quality to it, although it can't be described as country music (or even alt-country, although that movement was undoubtedly influenced by TWR). While pinning the band down and placing them in a neat pigeon hole is next to impossible, one thing is clear, they could play the hell out of it. On tracks like Wire Animals and Come Around, the band raises a hellish racket.
And just when you think you have the band's abilities nailed down, they weigh in with Thing. This little ditty about love turned sour is so insidious, so beautifully rendered, once heard it will never be forgotten. Roger Kunkel's amazing signature slide guitar is a feature of the album throughout, especially on Wet Heart where the pairing reach new heights of dementia. He is surely one of the slyest, most talented and under-appreciated axe smiths of his time. In their short career TWR would struggle to reach the heights of Moonhead again, although a subsequent slab, The Ruby Sea, is definitely up there in terms of pure weirdness and originality.