Album number three from the Texas Tornados (and the last until a short-lived reunion four years down the line) followed the same path as their first two entries -- which is to say, if it was fun and came somewhere from the great state of Texas, you'll find a taste of it here. With "Guacamole," Augie Meyers finally penned a fitting follow-up to "(Hey Baby) Que Paso"; Freddy Fender shows off his strong but silky pipes on the up-tempo "A Mover El Bote" and the weepy "I'm Trying"; Flaco Jimenez celebrates both the accordion and the bottle on the heartbroken "Ando Muy Borracho"; and Doug Sahm serves up a lot of rock and a little reggae on the title cut and "La Grande Vida." While the Tex-Mex influences dominate more strongly on Hangin' on by a Thread than they had on the first two albums, the album also sounds a bit more cohesive as a result, and Sahm's more rock-oriented material still displays a strong sense of the aural and cultural cross pollination that makes Texas music (and the Texas Tornados) so great. While it hardly sounds like a final gesture, curtain calls were not what this band was about, and Hangin' on by a Thread did make a better final chapter to the Texas Tornados' story than their 1996 reunion album, Four Aces.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming