Spanning a career of fringe rock releases and rhythm section revisions, Spoor gathers 15 musical oddities from Davis, CA's Thin White Rope. Wearing their influences on their sleeve, the quartet stumble through a grab bag of covers both obvious (the Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now," the Stooges "Little Doll") and truly confounding ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Tiomkin & Washington's "Town Without Pity"). At the collection's core is the group's 1988 tribute EP Red Sun. Unfortunately, of the handful of originals, only the demos for frontman Guy Kyser's "Red Sun" and "Tina and Glen" are up to the standards of the group's album material. The latter finds the band cutting loose on a light-hearted surf rave-up while the former is still better heard in it's album incarnation. Even the jagged edges of "Munich Eunich," however, are an improvement over many of the covers on hand. Removed from the live gig's setting of hot, tightly packed bodies, the feedback sprawl of the Stooges' "Little Doll" wears thin. Likewise, while a take on "Town Without Pity" may have seemed ambitious upon appearance in 1988, it boarders perilously close to parody territory with the passing years. There are some exceptions however: the James Bond theme "Man With the Golden Gun" suits Thin White Rope's desert noir sound just fine, and a take on Marty Robbins' "They're Hanging Me Tonight" has its moments, particularly when Kyser makes his way into the chorus. By the very nature of the collection however, Spoor is a fan issue, not the recommended initiation to the band's music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Nathan Bush