Sleeping in the Aviary - Oh, This Old Thing? (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sleeping in the Aviary

Oh, This Old Thing? (2007)

Science of Sound

The Thermals released The Body, The Blood, The Machine last year to devastating critical acclaim. Few had complaints regarding the band's edgy, ambitiously concocted, throwback pop-punk, but unfortunately for me I found myself in that group. To at least this reviewer the band sounded tired, drained of the spastic, unrelenting energy from 2004's perfectly titled Fuckin A. Amidst all the mouth-foaming of its reception and personal anticipation for the album It was hard to admit that I just...wasn't into it. Luckily, Sleeping in the Aviary's Oh, This Old Thing? serves as a fair substitute for my expectations.

Oh, This Old Thing? is 13 tracks of snotty, fuck-all lo-fi power-pop. "Face Lift Floats" is brief but punctual as the opener, giving what seems like a preview of the next 22 minutes to come, while "Pot Song" bounces along with effortless handclaps and "Another Girl" self-loathes atop power chords. The band spreads a similar nature over the course of these three but branches out a little more upon the trifecta's completion. "Gloworm" sounds like a drugged up Stephen Pedersen (Criteria) is fronting the band, while the lazy "Sign My Cast" is one of a few more gentle numbers. Of course, the 33-second "Maureen" starts the second 'half' in a blast of a fashion, light screams peppering the end of Elliott Kozel's lines. "Drug Suitcase" slams away silly, distorted solos and a short but sweet Jerry Lee Lewis piano 'riff' to close. "Only Son" even throws a bit of Jello Biafra-style yelps and slurs in the vocals for good measure. And then out of nowhere, tucked at the end is an untitled piano ballad; it's actually pretty pretty.

Sleeping in the Aviary's debut might be a little top-heavy but it certainly deserves points not only for style but variety, managing to capture the listener's interest for the majority of its quick duration. Familiar, sure, but it also nearly fills a void that was left sorely open for me in 2006.

Another Girl

Pop Song