Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Thermals

Last night, against my better judgement, I attended The Thermals show at Mojo's. I've been working constantly between classroom visits, evening training sessions, and trying to get my paperwork done while getting very little sleep. (Thank god for gas station coffee.) Despite this and the fact that one of those training sessions was last night as well, I'm anticipating a great rock show from these Portland-ites even if it did rob me of a few hours of sleep.

I've written before of my appreciation for The Thermals, but I've rarely gone into much detail. I've played their latest release, last year's The Body, the Blood, the Machine, constantly throughout this year and I can't stop. It's that good, that complete of a record that I've ignored most of the ridiculous amount of music I've purchased in the last 12 months for this one, little Sub Pop release.

I am a lazy citizen journalist and will attempt to encapsulate The Thermals by comparing their best attributes to other, well-loved bands. The Thermals have captured the pure-pop genius in a lo-fi tube once dominated by Guided By Voices. Then, there's the raw emotion of the vocals ala Rainer Maria that makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs with lead singer Hutch (that's right) Harris. Or the Northwest authenticity of Beat Happening mixed with the dry seduction of Karate that gives the band its indie cred. It's hard to wrap all these bands into one package, but The Thermals are that parcel of indie pop set to be delivered to Mojo's this evening.

On The Body..., The Thermals cover a long list of topics. The album takes on Noah, God, Jesus, the devil, Moses, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, Jerusalem, the New Testament, Old Testament, Bush, Iraq, St. Rosa, immigration, war, globalization, oil, and a few other things that escape me at the moment (must sleep).

I had to see this band live and couldn't miss my one chance to see them in COMO. Apparently, not many COMO-ians felt the same. Mojo's was maybe half-full, but I was fine with that. I was kind of happy that I wouldn't have to deal with a crowd.

As The Thermals began their set, I realized no one was dancing which made no sense. This band plays that brand of indie that makes one pogo until shin splints develop. Were people too cool to dance?

I was rocking out a few feet back and decided to take a spot right up front with the four or five other people not afraid to dance. I haven't danced at a show (while sober) in a long time, but this gave me an opportunity to get some exercise and blow some steam.

The Thermals did not disappoint. They ripped through a set dominated by their latest release. The band played just the right amount of time so that we dancers didn't wear down but long enough to satisfy the crowd's requests.

Thank god The Thermals came to COMO. This should carry me for a while.


Peter Cottontail said...

I am jealous. I figured that show would've sold out. Also, I'm sad, because I couldn't go. Are you going to the Mountain Goats? That will be thrilling as well, but not in a dance til you puke sorta way.

Juliet said...

the Thermals are definitely worth checking out live. I saw them at the Bowery Ballroom during a Subpop showacse last fall, and it was such a fun time.

Rock on!