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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great unsung guitar band of the 80's, February 15, 2001
This review is from: Moonhead (Audio CD)
Thin White Rope is one of the bands that loves to defy categorization. The best I can do is "Psychedelic western death rock". Breaking this down, the "phsychedelic" part is the manic, dual guitar drones that drive this music, as well as the trippy lyrics. Some people call the sound "country", but this is misleading. The better term is "Western". This sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a whacked out Tex-Mex gun-slinging cowboy movie. The "Death" part refers to the very dark lyrics, but dark like Dr. Strangelove rather than Joy Division...there's some very funny stuff here. And the "Rock" part needs no explanation...these guys rock loud, heavy and hard. The sound is huge...big, big, big. And beautiful.
My favorite song on this album is the title track: a long, rambling guitar driven opus that builds from an introspective beginning and finally explodes into a frantic climax. The guitar work of this band is beyond comparison, although Television is a good starting point. These guys know how to build tension better than any band I've heard.
Guy's voice also defy's description, but try to imagine a beer-soaked Roger Daltrey with a mouthful of marbles and...uh...you still can't imagine it! I'll try again...how about Johnny Cash on Helium singing through a burlap bag...nah. Hmm. A Roy Orbison 45 rpm record played back at 33? Nope. All I can definitively say is that his voice is a perfect match to the music.
If you haven't heard this band, start anywhere. All of their albums are excellent and representative of the band's sound. But do yourself a favor and start somewhere. The bad news is that once you get a taste for these guys, you can't get enough. The good news is they have lots of albums and you can't go wrong.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars creepy yet compelling, January 5, 2003
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This review is from: Moonhead (Audio CD)
Imagine a country-rock band of ex-junkies from a ghost town run by William Burroughs, and you begin to get the idea of what this band sounds like. Call it-- American Goth? The vocals sound like a cleaner, spookier Tom Waits, and the spare echo-y sound evokes the dark side of town, full of dead end streets and boarded-up storefronts. The perfect soundtrack for driving down a desert highway at 3AM, in a vain attempt to escape the trail of blood and money in the sleazy motel room behind you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The band that got away..., August 22, 2002
By 
Chad A. Wilson (Sacramento, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Moonhead (Audio CD)
I could go on for hours about Thin White Rope, but I think I can make my point best by keeping it simple. I own thousands of albums by Thousands of bands, and most in my top 20 are Thin White Rope... The song "Thing" is one of the saddest, most moving songs ever written. If you like Guitar Rock with brains and passion, this is the band. The way I see it, if TWR never existed, and this album came out today, they would be the talk of the "Indie Rock" world, dominating the likes of Moonie Suzuki, the Hives and the Strokes. Do your self a favor, buy this one...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously underheard classic., February 1, 2010
By 
Art Johnson (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Moonhead (Audio CD)
Thin White Rope's Moonhead, released in 1987, has to be one of the most underappreciated albums of all time. Over time, this kind of sentiment has become a cliche, but I can't think of many other examples when a great album really didn't get the attention and acclaim it deserves. Musically, the record is made up of icy, terse, dynamic rock songs played by a two-guitar, bass and drums quartet. The songs, mostly written by guitarist/singer Guy Kyser (sometimes co-written with others in the band) are hooky, driving, and memorable. The interplay between the musicians gives the record its real vitality and flavor, however; the rhythm section is grounded and powerful and keeps a tight, propulsive beat while the guitarists intertwine riffs, lines, and leads flawlessly, creating an organic, shifting union between the two much in the style of other great rock twin-guitar teams (Richards and Jones/Taylor, Verlaine/Lloyd, Moore/Ranaldo). Speaking of Verlaine and Lloyd, I've seen other reviewers make comparisons between this album and their great work in the band Television, which makes sense; but whereas Television was very much informed by the grimy sparkle and claustrophobia of the city, Thin White Rope's sound is very evocative of the open, negative space of the desert (the reverb on this record adds to this feeling). Another difference from Television is the muscularity of the playing; when the song demands it, the guitars roar into bursts of fuzz and volume. It's very much an almost Eastern-Western United States dynamic. The production gives the record a desolate, dusty feel, while simultaneously sounding aurally clear and physically imposing. Kyser's voice adds to the atmosphere with its creepy quavering delivery. More people need to hear this record!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece among all the indies., July 25, 2005
This review is from: Moonhead (Audio CD)
There was a brief time back in '87-'88, when all seemed right with the sounds coming out of boomboxes and walkman headphones. It was the time of Sonic Youth in the East, Husker Du in the Midwest, and this band, Thin White Rope on the Pacific. They each came out with pinnacle achievements, around this era, and Thin White Rope's was Moonhead. I am not going to bore with comparisons to this or that, just know if you are taking the time to read reviews and listen to samples, then buy the Lp and you won't be dissappointed. That's a promise! I bought my wax copy nearly twenty years ago now and it remains near the top of my voluminous Lp stack.
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Moonhead
Moonhead by Thin White Rope (Audio CD - 1993)
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