Thin White Rope

Moonhead

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Thin White Rope's second album, Moonhead, is the edge-of-chaos masterpiece of the paisley underground, an album that sounds like Neil Young & Crazy Horse tackling Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures. All of the 14 songs, even a pounding cover of Jimmy Reed's blues classic "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby," are so wound up and tense that they sound like they could explode at any point; the fact that they don't, not even on extended guitar workouts like "Crawl Piss Freeze" and the epic closer "Take It Home," gives the album an at times almost unbearable tension. The songs all start from basically the same point -- dual-guitar leads over Jozef Becker's almost Krautrock-like steady pulses and Stephen Tesluk's throbbing, minimal basslines -- but Guy Kyser's lyrics and vocals range from tortured wails to mordant, deadpan humor, providing the album with just enough variation that it doesn't become deadening. An intense, satisfying album, Moonhead is Thin White Rope's most substantial and powerful effort.

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