By Andy Bookwalter
If The Thermals’ Hutch Harris didn’t have a band behind him, I’m pretty sure he’d be one of those guys who NEED you to understand what they’re trying to tell you. He’d be standing three inches from your face, getting spit on you, and maybe poking you in the chest for emphasis. Good thing for the rest of The Thermals, because I hate those kind of guys.
Harris packs a lot of religious and political imagery into loud, melodic, simple songs with plenty of crashing cymbals and (shudder) emo-esque guitars. With the band behind him making a racket he still really wants you to hear what he has to say, but with less spit and poking.
The band’s 2006 concept album, The Body, the Blood, the Machine, tells a story of an America taken over by Christian fascists (heaven forfend!). Harris is joined by drummer Westin Glass and bassist Kathy Foster (who learned to box for the video for “The Sunset”, from their latest album Desperate Ground!)
The Thermals bring 10 years and six albums worth of vocal-driven straight ahead, lo-fi guitar punk to Neumos on January 15 as part of Neumo’s 10th and Moe’s 20th anniversary party week.