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The Body, the Blood, the Machine

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iTunes Review

Portland, Oregon’s Thermals play the sort of politically-charged, lo-fi inspired (if no longer technologically so) punk-pop that’s come to define the raw ends of the underground/ alternative rock movement circa 2006. They’re plenty angry at the way the world acts around them (“Here’s Your Future,” “I Might Need You To Kill”) and it’s reflected in their unpolished, unapologetic approach to their instruments. There are no soothing harmonies or mild-mannered choruses aimed at infiltrating the mainstream. No, the guitars are strummed without finesse, splattering over the speakers in large chunky chords that lock with the clunky, rudimentary drums in perfect garage band glory (played by double-timing bassist Kathy Foster who emergency filled-in following the departure of drummer Jordan Hudson). None of which would be nearly as convincing if it weren't for Hutch Harris’ eerie whine that has been noted for its similarity to ‘60s cult-rocker Roky Erickson. Like Erickson, Harris twists melody and pathos from the smallest of notes, making his concerns sound urgent and beautiful, and especially vulnerable (“St Rosa and the Swallows”) as his voice shakes with conviction.

Customer Reviews

f*$#ing A

Fantastic return. loud, fast, slow, angry...but really catchy. All I can say's the Thermals.

Just listen

I don't know what it is, but something about these songs just makes you feel good and want to listen to more, give em a try.

My New Favorite!

Seriously, I am so impressed with this Portland trio's sound. My only regret is not getting turned on to them sooner. I haven't been so affected by lyrics in a long time. You must buy this album if you don't own it. Every song is a smash.


Formed: May, 2002 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A Portland-based supergroup of sorts, the Thermals originally featured Kind of Like Spitting's Ben Barnett and the Operacycle's Jordan Hudson, plus Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster of the twee/folk-pop duo Hutch & Kathy and the All Girl Summer Fun Band. The group formed in early 2002 as a way for its members to play just for the fun of it, but their insistent melodies and punk-inspired urgency quickly won them a local following. Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard became one of the Thermals' first fans...
Full Bio
The Body, the Blood, the Machine, The Thermals
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Customer Ratings