Friday, May 20, 2011

Paisley Underground Series, #9: Thin White Rope- Sack Full of Silver (1990) MP3 & FLAC

"There comes a time when everyone's plans fall like a dog from a truckbed grandstand."

While The Paisley Underground is most often described as an off-shoot of the burgeoning L.A.-based underground music scene of the 1980s, in reality, it included bands hailing from both coasts and many stops in between who were involved in their own local iterations of Psychedelic revivalism. For example, Thin White Rope emerged out of a thriving neo-psych scene in Davis, California, and quickly became fixtures in the various L.A.-area clubs that catered to the Paisley bands. While their earlier albums such as Exploring the Axis and Moonhead offered a distinctive brand of dark Psychedelia mixed with a bit of intense Post-Punk spike, on Sack Full of Silver, Thin White Rope began to foreground the Americana-based elements that had always been lurking in the back alleys of their sound. For those unfamiliar with the work of this band, the first thing that is likely to stand out is Guy Kyser's distinctive vocals, which sound something like Tom Waits paying tribute to Roger McGuinn. Sack Full of Silver is full of under-appreciated gems, such as "Hidden Lands," one of the most majestic songs Thin White Rope ever recorded; it sounds as if it could be a long lost masterpiece of Gene Clark and features some great guitar-work and percussion. Perhaps the album's highlight is the off-kilter psyche-countrification of Can's "Yoo Doo Right." By reducing the original's twenty minute length to an intense and wild six minutes, Thin White Rope completely reinvents the song, and in doing so, turns in an absolutely brilliant performance. While Sack Full of Silver is often overshadowed by their earlier, more explicitly neo-psyche work, the album is easily one of the best attempts at integrating roots-rock and Psychedelia to emanate from the Paisley scene.

Sack Full of Silver (1998 Remastered and Expanded Edition)
 1. Hidden Lands  (3:06)
 2. Sack Full of Silver  (2:14)
 3. Yoo Doo Right  (6:04)
 4. The Napkin Song  (1:31)
 5. Americana/The Ghost  (8:17)
 6. Whirling Dervish  (5:39)
 7. (Pyramid/Triangle) (4:43)
 8.. Diesel Man  (3:43)
 9. On the Floe  (4:54)
-Bonus Tracks-
10. Ants Are Cavemen  (5:00)
11. Little Doll (Live, Germany, 1988)  (8:16)
12. Outlaw Blues  (2:45)
13. Burn the Flames  (5:36)
14. Eye  (3:20)
15. Skinhead (Live, Sweden, 1988)  (2:13)


  1. Superb stuff, love these. Got them all on vinyl.

    Any chance of posting some more?

  2. Anon. absolutely, over the course of the Paisley series, I will post them all.

  3. The best description I've heard regarding their sound is: Take some hard-ridden 19th century cowboys, give them electric guitars, turn them on to Television (of the Tom Verlaine variety) and have them make music. Interesting that you list track 7 as (pyramid) - some call it "triangle". When I saw them live, I picked up their discarded playlist for them to sign and they listed that song with the triangle/pyramid symbol as on the cover. I didn't take to this album right away, but it grew onto me strong. My favorites are Diesel Man & Yoo Doo Right and yes, the later is an uncanny cover...literally!

  4. cudawaver, that is a great description. The CD case has the symbol for track 7, so I went with something I saw on a reference website. I have put both options in the tracklist

  5. Many thanks! Much appreciated for the upcoming weekend. Kurt

  6. I've got earlier stuff and looking forward for this one. Your description makes it even more appetizing...

  7. Lon, I think you'll like this one. It contains some great songs

  8. ''Triangle song''-on my old cass from 1990.&on the ''The one that got away''.
    Love so much all TWR records,but i think ''In the Spanish cave''little much more.Wait for the others.

    Sorry,i don't push you,but what happend with my request of Walkabouts ''Cataract''?

  9. Hmm, used to hold TWR very highly indeed, but kind of lost track of them after the first couple of albums. After reading this i think I have to check out this one. Thank you!

  10. sunday, the Paisley series will be long and in-depth, and I will eventually post all of TWR's albums (well, the original albums). In terms of The Walkabouts, it's not out there in FLAC anywhere, so short of buying it (which I might do at some point). I'll look around again for it in the mean time

  11. Dr Hank, good to hear from you. This one is highly underrated

  12. Crap! Why does my Google account work so erratically? My whole comment was just erased when I went to preview it. In any case, great post. Super band. And speaking of things Paisley Underground (super segue, eh?), when you get to posting the genius of Scott Miller, if you have it, please include Alternate Learning's 7" four song EP. Got Painted Windows, but can't find this EP anywhere (except for a king's ransom from the usual trolls who make blogs like this live too close to the edge. Thanks again for the Rope. Very much appreciated!

  13. Anon., sorry to hear about losing your first comment, but thanks so much for the Scott Miller request. I'll do the best I can :)

  14. Anon. by the way, I will be posting most, if not alkl, of the Game Theory albums, with the first one coming fairly soon

  15. Hi, This is anon. I'll be watching your blog. If you have the ALRN EP, I'd love to see that posted first. The wait would be unbearable. :-) You would have my undying gratitude forever (a bit redundant, but you get the point). I promise this will be the last post about this you'll see from me regarding the EP, but I will say thanks when I do grab something tasty you post. Thanks for the prompt reply and let's hope google works this time.

  16. Oxy, unfortunately, I don't have that EP. I've looked everywhere and came up empty. I'll keep my eyes open for it. I'm assuming it would need to be a vinyl rip because it doesn't appear to have ever been issued in on CD

  17. A great record from a great band, even though 'Moonhead' is my favourite one. Is that my Fault?
    Thanks voix!

  18. frankroo, "Moonhead" will be part of the series in the somewhat near future :)

  19. TWR were/are one of my favourite bands, I've seen them around ten times (almost every european tour) and finally I got to talk to them before and after shows.
    They still owe me one live version of "Man on the Silver Mountain" - on their last tour ever I was backstage before their show in Vienna and they promised me to play this song, but in the end they forgot.
    By the way: the best description of their sound that I read was "a mix between Black Sabbath and Johnny Cash".

  20. whsonic, thanks for the great TWR story. I read that description of their sound somewhere; it's a great line, though I'm not sure how accurate it is. I'll post some earlier TWR in the Paisley series soon


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