The Thermals - Fuckin A (Cover Artwork)
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The Thermals

The Thermals: Fuckin A

Fuckin A (2004)

Sub Pop


4
Dear Sub Pop, You're blowing it. You seem to have forgotten what your record label was all about. Throughout the past few years, I've seen you become inundated with side project after side project on your release schedule, intermingled with the bland singer-songwriter efforts and random comedy ...

Dear Sub Pop,

You're blowing it. You seem to have forgotten what your record label was all about. Throughout the past few years, I've seen you become inundated with side project after side project on your release schedule, intermingled with the bland singer-songwriter efforts and random comedy albums for hipper-than-thous. It's depressing to think you once helped define modern indie rock music. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Reverend Horton Heat, Seaweed - while these bands might not sonically sound the same, they all had one thing: balls. Big brass ones. Why have you forsaken the rock, Sub Pop?

Consider this letter an intervention. Today, you have released the second full-length from Portland trio The Thermals, called Fuckin A. You haven't advertised it at all. Hell, you haven't even posted an MP3 from it on your website for download. You. Are. Blowing. It. This record is the freshest thing to have your name stamped on it in quite some time.

Since it seems like no one who works at your label has actually listened to it, I'll give you the lowdown: The Thermals pack 12 high-energy, low-fi garage rock songs into a little under 28 minutes. The term "power trio" could never be more perfect than right now. These songs burst at the seams with frantic guitar strumming, fluid basslines, and drumming that is as simplistic as it is spastic. Songs bleed into each other [see "Odd Trip" and "Every Stitch"] carrying over tempos, reminding me of stories I would hear about the Ramones playing at CBGB's - the pause between songs is just fast enough to count off the next one.

The Thermals channel as much energy from 70s punk icons as they do from Bob Dylan. Singer Hutch Harris spits out vulgarities as if they were second nature, yet still is able to tell a solid story, as evidenced in "Top Of The Earth" or "God and Country." These songs would be just as powerful stripped down to an acoustic guitar and a barstool.

Sub Pop, I urge you to re-consider your recent path you've been walking down. For a time, you were the only label who still flew the flag of rock and roll proudly. You can still be that label once more. The Thermals want to wave that flag; help them. Do it for the children.

Love,
Scott Punknews

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