Music News

The Thermals

"Fuckin' A" may be the most wonderfully ridiculous expletive around these days. Is it self-censorship of that unutterable "A"? And what the hell is the "A," anyhow? Perplexing. But given that the Thermals may be the most wonderfully ridiculous punk-rockers around these days, it's fitting that the act's latest record, Fuckin A, is named after that etymologically confusing curse. Like the album's title, the Thermals are brief, satisfying and -- given a second glance -- don't quite make sense. Hutch Harris's snide vocal inflection seems better suited for emo (a road not taken, thankfully), and the fury of the band often threatens to quash the melodic arc of its songs. The Thermals' lyrics won't win them a punk Pulitzer any time soon, either. But since when do rock lyrics make sense? What matters is the overall effect, and it says a lot about the energy and prowess of the Thermals' ability to take meaningless lyrics and turn them into something powerful. This is punk rock for pop fans (or vice versa); give the Thermals a (fuckin') A+ for bridging the gap once again.
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Christian Schaeffer