Exploring the Axis

Exploring the Axis

by Thin White RopeThin White Rope

CD(Bonus Tracks)

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Hailing from the northern California town of Davis, Thin White Rope was initially pegged as a proponent of the paisley underground movement. Such labeling, however, tells half the story at best. The list of bands the group went on to cover over the course of their ten-year career is actually more revealing. Songs by Suicide, the Stooges, Lee Hazlewood, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, Can, and a James Bond theme have all been rendered by the band in the studio and on-stage. That list goes a long way in explaining the mixture of raw, angular riffs, southern twang, and icy psychedelia that characterizes Exploring the Axis, the group's 1985 debut. What it does not convey, perhaps, is the relative bleakness of Thin White Rope's music. Frontman Guy Kyser, guitarist Roger Kunkel, bassist Stephen Tesluk, and drummer Jozef Becker outline a series of barren landscapes, their instruments kicking up clouds of dust from the parched earth like a rollicking, rickety ghost-train headed south. At times Jeff Eyrich's productions approach the wintry heir of Martin Hannett's work with Joy Division. This climate is ideal for Kyser, who delivers tales of isolation, allusion, and death; his voice a perpetually unsteady quake. Unfortunately, he hadn't yet learned how to pace himself, continually reaching for the drama inherent in the songs at the expense of lyrical nuances. Though subsequent releases would see a maturing of the band's sound, Exploring the Axis would remain the blueprint.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/06/1993
Label: Frontier Records
UPC: 0018663101521
catalogNumber: 31015
Rank: 51884

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