Tag Archives: Thin White Rope

…2014 – w 16 Album of the Week is “Exploring the axis” by Thin White Rope.

Thin white rope

Allegedly taking their name from William S. Burroughs´ description of semen in “Naked Lunch”, this is one of my favourite bands of the mid-eighties, making five really good albums before folding in the early nineties. Characterized by the distinctive singing voice of singer/songwriter/guitarist Guy Kyser, as well as the melodic interplay by Kyser and fellow guitarist Roger Kunkel, they were sometimes a bit unfairly compared to Television. In my opinion they had a sound very much their own, which they honed and refined throughout their career.

Exploring the axis

Although some of the later efforts (like for example 1990´s “Sack full of silver”) could be claimed to be more developed, I still have a soft spot for their debut. Released in 1985, “Exploring the axis” is a sharp and edgy exploration of dual guitar rock. Opener “Down in the desert” sets the tone with it´s combination of drama and melody, along with the slightly creepy lyrics.

Even though it´s a debut album, the sound of the band is fully formed and Kyser gives evidence of being an accomplished songwriter with a style very much his own. You won´t find lines like these from the song “Lithium” on many contemporary albums.

“I need lithium and you, you make me feel the same
Some reaction in my blood puts bubbles in my brain”

Bying this album upon it´s release, I still remember being quite excited by it at the time. Sometimes slightly abrasive but always melodic, and with lyrics filled with strange and obscure stories. Loved it then and loving it still. Enjoy.