This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"I need you to pay for the sins I create" - The Thermals

Today's post was supposed to be, among other things, an inspired rant about why I'm better than you and my favorite Eva Angelina movies (including the heart- and lap-warming The Da Vinci Load). It was also supposed to be the debut of my ongoing mix project, Pop Stars and Rising Tarts (get it?). Unfortunately, both WinZip and my hosting site are being complete cock mobsters, so it'll have to wait. Instead, I bring you Portland's wild children, The Thermals.

Featuring members of Hutch & Kathy and the All Girl Summer Fun Band, they bowed in 2003 with the nearly-flawless More Parts Per Million. Featuring distored indie classics like "Goddamn the Light" and "No Culture Icons," the whole thing whipped by in half an hour and sounded like it was recorded in an attic on a boombox one drunken summer afternoon (which isn't too far off, actually). 2004 saw the rushed Fuckin' A, and while I hate to be one of those, I was turned off by the production. Hutch Harris' voice just didn't sound right without all the lo-fi cackles coming in at the edges. Besides, other than "How We Know," the songs weren't as strong the second time around.

Well, having heard their third (and newest) record The Body, The Blood, The Machine, I can report that the Thermals have gotten over the seemingly ubiquitous sophomore slump and dropped a killer record. Bringing back some of the fuzz of their debut was a wise move - lo-fi distortion is to the Thermals as tape hiss is to the Mountain Goats. It's almost a fourth member of the group. That's not to say they're treading water, as you can see from their incorporation of keyboards into the insanely catchy "A Pillar of Salt."

Most people would be surprised that they put out a record with such explicit political and social themes, but anyone who heard the ranting against the emptiness, hypocrisy, smugness, and vanity that pockmarks much of the indie scene on More Parts Per Million shouldn't be surprised that Harris has opened the scope of his sarcastic venom. Basically, don't play this record around fundamentalist Christians or thin-lipped conservatives unless you want to get into a pointless conversation. Go ahead and give 'em a listen so that Mary Claire feels like she has something to talk about with someone instead of just randomly quoting Pete and Pete and snorting like someone with sinus cancer.


Post a Comment

<< Home