The Thermals The Body, The Blood, The Machine

[Sub Pop; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: twee politico pop, lo-fi punk
Others: Beat Happening, Green Day, Dead Kennedys

A kick in the seat of your pants. A swift one. A jolt. Jarring. A secular lightning bolt. A steel toe to the hiney. Pack the crack with leather, suede, fat laces, and tongue. Aglets will puncture. Rise. Rise. Rise out of the chair. The Thermals are stuffing our keisters with motivation. They want us to move. Mobilize. Escape. Become escapists, they say, over the shredding of guitars like the shredding of documents. Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster share the duties. Where'd the drummer go?

The Body, The Blood, The Machine is a charge against religious and governmental control and the conflict they cause. So The Thermals make it their cause to invigorate listeners and make declarations with bullet points instead of points with bullets. They're rushing through your suburb, running over mailboxes (it's the closest symbol of government they can get to). Envelopes explode in the air. Stamped debris falling from the sunny sky. It's a mail storm. The Thermals are a maelstrom.

The only drawback is Hutch Harris' vocals. Hutch's voice isn't exactly that of a renegade. The kitchen countertops are kid-proof. The voice is safe from sharp corners. It is round and soft. It's a Mark Rudd voice. A P.W.M. voice (Privileged White Male, or: Powerless, Wuss, Misguided). No word yet on whether The Thermals will perform on the steps of Columbia University any time soon. But their voice is being heard. Sub Pop has wonderful distribution. There's a bloody body on the machine. Help The Thermals remove the functions from the machine, hollow it out, deliver it to an antique shop, and give it sheen.

1. Here's Your Future
2. I Might Need You to Kill
3. An Ear For Baby
4. A Pillar of Salt.
5. Returning to the Fold
6. Test Pattern
7. St. Rosa and the Swallows
8. Back to the Sea
9. Power Doesn't Run on Nothing
10. I Hold the Sound