Monday, June 01, 2009

CD Review: The Thermals Now We Can See

The Thermals
Now We Can See

What’s awesome about the Thermals? Oh, so much. Hutch Harris’s deadpan vocal delivery and pounded power chords. Kathy Foster’s 1-2-3-4 drums and cool synth lines. And most of all, the band’s youthful irreverence.

What’s wrong with “Now We Can See?” The passion seems to be missing. Though the songs are pretty good, they are devoid of the righteous rebellion that makes The Thermals so great. That’s not to say this album is a throwaway. “I Let it Go” and “Now We Can See” are great, catchy tunes. “When We Were Alive” is a fuzzed-out punk rock gem and “When I Was Afraid” is perfectly moody.

Harris’s lyrics also continue to impress. One of the highlights comes on “When I Died,” when he sings “The earth was too hot/The air was too thin/I took off my clothes/I took off my skin/I crawled to the sea/That was calling for me.”

But much like tracks “At the Bottom of the Sea” and “Liquid In, Liquid,” the album struggles under a heavy weight of resignation. Let’s hope these 30-year-olds get over their musical midlife crisis.

The Thermals - I Let it Go

For fans of: The Hold Steady, Against Me!
Rating: 3 of 4

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