Thunderbirds Are Now! - Justamustache (Cover Artwork)

Thunderbirds Are Now!

Justamustache (2005)


Justamustache shows that Thunderbirds Are Now! like to have a good time. From the cheerleader chants that open and close the album to the lap pop intros and witty lyrics, the Thunderbirds come off as steadfast optimists. Their sound combines urgent, sassy vocals with bouncy bass, synth hooks, and groove-laden beats. The album never wavers from its non-stop sugar high until near the end with "Bodies Adjust," and even that is no sad bastard ballad.

Sure, Thunderbirds Are Now! take a lot from label mates Les Savy Fav's art punk cadence, including jagged yet funky guitars and a hip-shaking rhythm section, but they know how to spike it with just enough variance to create their own cocktail. The high-pitched vocals are much more controlled than that of Tim Harrington's signature rants, and Thunderbirds Are Now! take full advantage of having a keyboard player by creating parts that range from Rentals-style moog licks to goth-like organs and new wave beeps.

Don't let the word "dance" scare you off from this album. Again, like label mates Les Savy Fav, Thunderbirds Are Now! know how to mix just enough post punk into their dance textures to make the band more than just a novelty to be thrown on at parties. Songs like "Eat this City" and "Cobra Feet" almost sound like a collaboration between At The Drive-In and the Rapture as they blend pulsing grooves and organs with angular guitar and punk drumming.

Don't look for artsy interludes, cryptic lyrics, or shocking musical shifts here; Justamustache succeeds because it is fun and accessible. This isn't a top 10 album, but it is well thought out, catchy, and sure to get even the staunchest of wallflowers tapping their feet.