The Thermals More Parts per Million

[Sub Pop; 2003]

Rating: 3/5

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

Recorded in the house of The Thermals brainchild, Hutch Harris, More Parts Per Million oozes lo-fi charm. Hutch clearly shares the same production values as Bob Pollard. There are no egos here, just some friends getting together to bang out a barnburner or two. And these friends are no strangers to the indie rock world. The aforementioned Hutch (Hutch & Kathy), bassist Kathy Foster (Hutch & Kathy and All Girl Summer Fun Band), guitarist Ben Barnett (Kind of Like Spitting), and drummer Jordan Hudson (Operacycle) have impressive day jobs as well.

The Thermals blow out of the speakers with a reckless and sloppy rush one would expect from a $65 home recording. Equal parts rock, pop, and punk go into The Thermals potent mix. Add in Hutch’s nasal vocal delivery, which sounds like it’s being forced through a filter that hasn’t been changed in years. These ingredients make More Parts Per Million enjoyable for what it is. A no frills half-hour blast of indie rock not intended to save the world or change anyone’s life. There are a few standout tracks including Foster’s bass driven “I Know the Pattern” and album sendoff “An Endless Supply."

The Thermals debut is over almost as quick as it came, clocking in less than 30 minutes. And by that time it’s okay since you’ve had your fill. You didn’t overstuff yourself though, you’ll be back for seconds.

1. It's Trivia
2. Brace and Break
3. No Culture Icons
4. Goddamn the Light
5. Out of the Old and Thin
6. I Know the Pattern
7. Time to Lose
8. My Little Machine
9. Overgrown, Overblown
10. A Passing Feeling
11. Back to Gray
12. Born Dead
13. An Endless Supply