Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Revinylization Project: The Thermals - Now We Can See (and some overdue reviews)

Though they have a "sound", I happen to think The Thermals write some of the best songs in all of indie land. However, this album lacks the oomph The Body, The Blood, The Machine carried with its unifying themes and undeniable passion. Still, the songs made my head bob. That should count for something.

Included is a good, old fashioned lyric sheet. White print on black. I'm a fan of the lyric sheet.


A collage depicting a swan on a bed of stars at night is the cover. Overall, the coloring is dark and drab, not really fitting for the album's feel. Of course, a closer study of the lyrics reveals darker themes and subject areas that may fit with the artwork than previously suspected.

The digital download is there. That's about it.

Simple, black, elegant.

This album feels like a transition. The Body... was The Thermals' statement. Now, they have to figure out what's next. It seems that what's next is something more akin to Ted Leo with some harmony going on. I wouldn't be surprised to hear more instruments and see this three-piece expand by the next album.

The rest of this post consists of some records I've been meaning to review but have not had time to do so.

Pavement - Live
This record accompanied my deluxe copy of Brighten the Corners. If you never saw Pavement live, this record does little justice. Their live shows were often disjointed and messy. Sure, they were unforgettable, but it was rarely about the songs or the set list and always about the wager that they might not even make it through the show themselves. Somehow, they always did.

Various Artists - Dark Was the Night
I remember when Red Hot released No Alternative and Red Hot and Bothered back in the mid-nineties. The first featured a slew of up-and-coming bands making their moves from indie to major labels. The second collection had mostly unheard of acts still on indies. Red Hot's release in its 20th year contains thirty or so tracks from bands who would have felt right at home on either compilation. This one is certainly worth the cost.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
To me, this band sounds like they were raised on 80's Manchester, learned to play guitar in 90's Seattle, and record in 00's NYC. This is a good thing.

Wavvves - Wavvves
There's something to this wave (or wavvve) of lo-fi bands with plenty of punch and hooks-a-plenty. Wavvves are like No Age with keyboards and Times New Viking without the childlike whimsy.

Cut Off Your Hands - You and I
This album is fine. I actually have only had the chance to listen to it once. It seems the band has yet to provide the necessary files for my digital download to be redeemable. Assholes.

Condo Fucks - Fuckbook
Yo La Tengo have always had a knack for borrowing from the best sources (Cat Stevens, Daniel Johnston, The Kinks, Sonic Youth, etc.). So, it is no surprise that their garage rock alter-egos Condo Fucks should put out such a great rawk record of covers and originals not heard since the Condo Fucks fictitiously ruled Connecticut.

Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light

Antony has a voice not of this world. It's not something you'll put on every day until you wear it out, but you will play this record when you need something sad, something to make you feel.

Leonard Cohen - Songs of...
A friend bought this record for me for Christmas. I sort of forgot to mention it in this blog. I never really got Leonard Cohen until I listened to this record. No I get it. I don't know whether Wes Anderson has used any Cohen tracks for his films, but he should.

Ass Ponys - Mr. Superlove
The Ohio in me would not allow me to leave Vintage Vinyl without this record. "Mr. Superlove" was once covered by the Afghan Whigs back in the day. It might be one of my ten favorite songs ever.


Austin said...

what were your thoughts on pains of being pure at heart?
after a couple listens i considered them to be "just-okay", and maybe all they are is jangly and fun, but i do know that the jesus & mary chain comparisons were DEFINITELY way false. sounds more like twee or indie pop than the fuzzier stuff.

OH just wanted to straighten out what another poster said. there had been some speculation about whether or not the pavement like LP that is coming out on record store day is the same one that came out with BtC. It is, in fact, a new and DIFFERENT lp with the same cover but different color. apparently its like ulta limited too. so yeah

comoprozac said...

I thought it was a hair above "just ok" like maybe "ok". They have a good aesthetic, but I suspect it won't go anywhere.