Sack Full of Silver is, in many ways, one of Thin White Rope's most fully realized sets, blending the group's early alt-psychedelic influences and a growing taste for dusty Americana flavors. Having completed a 16-date tour of the Soviet Union, the group collected covers of Marty Robbins, Lee Hazlewood, and others for the Red Sun EP, followed shortly by this batch of originals penned during the trip overseas. Like all Thin White Rope releases, Sack Full of Silver is defined by the voice of Guy Kyser: the aural equivalent of the flat, parched, endless landscape his characters seem to inhabit. Sobering realizations, like dead ends, await them around every corner. In an environment where failure, desperation, and hopelessness are common currency, adding up one's losses and moving on feels like a great victory. It's clearly no easy task. "The Ghost" catches its subject in the moment before that turning point, looking ahead as a life of loss begins to flood in. Emerging out of the final chords of "Americana," it rises from the sound of wind-swept sand to a triumphant anthem in the mold of an old folk song. Revealing that they are working within a wider frame of reference, the group adapt Can's "Yoo Doo Right," distilling the original's 20 minutes into a compact, bursting rock number. Though the gray area in between these two styles produces less memorable results, Thin White Rope's brand of American roots has aged more gracefully than the work of some of their contemporaries. Sack Full of Silver remains as fine an introduction to Kyser's vision as any.
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AllMusic Review by Nathan Bush