The Thermals: Happy Rock Sans Cheese - Oh My Rockness

Band We Like
October 13, 2004
I love brooding, angst-filled music that gnaws at my consciousness and shreds the recesses of my soul. But I also love music that I can listen to and exclaim "How fun! How catchy!"

Portland's The Thermals fall in the latter category. The Thermals recently released Fuckin A, the excellent and just as catchy follow-up to one of our favorite records of 2003, More Parts Per Million. And you won't find many bands that are more fun to see live.

At a Thermals gig, expect the following: play two and half minute song, one second pause, play three minute song, tune, play two minute song, one second pause, repeat cycle for thirty to thirty-three minutes. And it's damn hard to resist their charm. Hutch Harris' highly infectious lyrics master the teetering line of simple yet clever wordplay without the superficiality. Kathy Foster is a joy to watch on the bass. And Jordan Hudson's drumming keeps the songs sounding tight. And The Thermals know that a smile and, dare I say, a little joy absolutely have a place in rock right alongside loneliness and utter despair. They make the kids feel alright.

The irony is not lost that Low is headlining. I guess The Thermals will cheer you up before Low brings you crashing down to reality.

The Thermals play Knitting Factory, Tuesday, March 22nd, with Fred Armisen and Tigers & Monkeys.


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