Ther•mal adj. 1: of, or relating to, or caused by heat 2: designed to prevent the loss of body heat 3: Singular of a band that is going to cause some major perspiration.
ASP Pop Music and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance present the Thermals on Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. in the Multi Purpose Room along with the Divorce and Scream Club for a show that will require energy, dancing kicks and earplugs to name a few.
The Thermals hail from Portland and are in the midst of a tour sending them back and forth between coasts with Western Washington University being stop number five.
Their latest album, The Body, The Blood, The Machine has been making record numbers with it showing up on Spin magazine’s Top 40 of 2006 list as well as Picthfork’s Top 50 of 2006, The Onion’s Best Music of 2006, NPR’S Best Cds of 2006 and Overlooked 11 of 2006. It also was in the top 30 play list on KUGS between the end of August and beginning of beginning of October of 2006.
That’s a lot of best of lists for The Body, The Blood, The Machine to not be good. Although somewhat of a concept album with lyrics about a Christian Fascist nation, the Thermals stay to true their original sound of being loud, catchy, and well, punk.
They classify their sound as “post-pop-punk.”
“I think the energy that the Thermals have is something a lot of other bands are missing and a lot of the un-wavering honesty is something that a lot of bands just don’t have a lot of these days,” says Assistant Pop Music Coordinator Victor Cuellar.
The Thermals are pretty hard to confuse with other bands with lyrics like:
“They can tell me what to read/They can sell me what to eat/They can feed me and send me the bill/But they tell me what to feel/I might need you to kill”
or even better
“Draw the bridges, dig the ditches steep/We’re gonna need a new border/Get thyself in line, it’s time for reassignment/Time for a new first world order.”
With lyrics like these, the Thermals have come a long since their first album, where although still very much punk and fierce with aggression, their lyrics carried slightly less political meaning.
“I feel like they’ve always had an overtly political sense to them,” says Cuellar. “But, the newest album for sure is dripping with political satire. I feel like it’s done in such a way that it doesn’t alienate anyone because their songs are still ridiculously catchy.”
The other bands appearing, the Divorce and Scream Club, also have a few note-worthy attributes to their musical careers making it a fully rounded out show.
The Divorce call Seattle home and have slowly evolved into indie-rock goodness. Their last album, The Gifted Program, released in 2005 is filled with 80s inspired New Waveness and good old rock-n-roll. Prior to that, they had their first career success with their 2003 release of There Will Be Blood Tonight.
Drawing mainly from a local fan base, the Divorce present songs about love, life, and have an overall tone of moodiness to them- not a bad thing. The lead singer’s vocals have a way of sucking a person right into what he is singing about.
“The Divorce are classic I think,” says Cuellar. “It seems like they’ve been around forever.”
Finally, Scream Club, presents hip-hop driven beats infused with synth-sound and poppy hooks. Pop Music Coordinator Hunter Motto says this band hailing from Olympia is very Peaches-esque, but mixes up the genre because Scream Club is a two piece. Motto goes on to say that this band is entertaining to see and carries more of the LGBTA message.
The Thermals performance matched up with the likes of the Divorce and Scream Club is sure to be something to wake people up post-Valentines Day/post mid-quarter meltdown/pre-finals countdown.
“The Thermals has always been a goal of mine,” says Cuellar. “So I’m glad it’s finally happening and I’m glad it’s happening right now because they’re still on this up swing of best of lists from the end of the year.”