Friday, February 23, 2007

Reviews:: The Thermals @ the Media Club Vancouver

In a complete 180, let’s talk about the other show I went to last night. Portland punk rockers, the Thermals, made their first ever visit to the great white north. Their latest and greatest – The Body, The Blood, The Machine – has gathered the band a lot of well deserved attention. Hutch’s terrifying apocalyptic view of a fanatical Christian society is well thought out and the three chord roar is the perfect backdrop.

In the last year or so, the band has doubled in size (after the last drummer left, Kathy (wo)manned the skins and the bass for the album), but now they are a four-piece and the beefed up sound really worked. Now, I’m not sure who does the sound at the media club, but it was fantastic. Unlike so many rock shows, you could hear every instrument – especially the rubber band sounds coming from Kathy’s bass. The mix was spot on, so every guitar screech, bass pluck and cymbal crash sounded tight but still let Hutch’s vocals come through crystal clear.

Despite the success of the last album, the band really treated the crowd to a nice mix of songs from the past and present. As fantastic as Pillar of Salt or (personal fav) Returning to the Fold sounded, it was a nice surprise to get to hear tracks from Fuckin A and More Parts Per Million. Kathy’s bass line on How We Know and the buzz saw guitars of Our Trip really got the crowd bouncing. Hutch was extremely energetic, waving his arms (on tracks like No Cultural Icons) and really embraced the more rock less talk mantra. Aside from the occasional, “thank you very much” the band simply cranked up the amps and blasted through an energetic set.

Somehow the band powered through for about an hour losing energy, or letting the crowd come down. When the mosh pit broke out during An Ear for Baby, I realized that songs about an Orwellian fascist regime have never been so fun.

These guys are playing @ Sasquatch – yet another reason to head on down.
MP3:: Pillar of Salt
MP3:: No Cultural Icons

Posted at 1:43 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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