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Listening

The Thermals, More Parts Per Million

The Thermals are from Portland, Oregon. The Thermals are Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster (Hutch & Kathy, the All-Girl Summer Fun Band), Ben Barnett (Kind of Like Spitting), and Jordan Hudson (Operacycle). The Thermals are on Sub Pop. The Thermals are a punk-rock supergroup, you could say.

Like Blind Faith or GTR, only not.

The Thermals also have a great sense of humor. From an interview in the Portland Mercury:

Five minutes into my interview with The Thermals’ Hutch Harris, his cell phone rings. After staring at the screen for a second before placing the phone back on the ground, unanswered, he comments, ‘Well, it’s either Sub Pop or my mom; those are the only people who call me with blocked caller ID.’
The Thermals’ debut album, More Parts Per Million, was recorded for $60. The Thermals probably know that it sounds like it was recorded for far less. The Thermals are the kind of lo-fi with blown speakers.

The Thermals are sometimes compared to Guided by Voices, which is not necessarily a bad thing, since Guided by Voices have some pretty great songs. The Thermals are also unafraid to pull these really great arena-rock riffs when the mood seems just about right. (And they’ve got one song, ‘Brace and Break,’ that I’ve listened to around thirty times today; it’s only two minutes long, though, so it didn’t take all that long.)

The Thermals made this album for the fun of it.

And that really comes through, in all the best ways.

biopic

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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