Album 11 of 500: The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine

April 4, 2010

LABEL: Subpop Records
RELEASE DATE:  August 22nd 2006

Perhaps its sacreligious to write a review for this album on Easter, yet it is unheard for a band’s third record to be their best.  You don’t see the Bible thumpers protesting at Thermals shows. The Body, the Blood, the Machine is more anti religious than any Marilyn Manson album. The Thermals, hailing from Portland Oregon, formed in 2002. Their first album, More Parts Per Million only cost roughly ten dollars to make and got in the hands of Death Cab for Cutie’s front man, Ben Gibbard. Mr. Gibbard dug it so much he passed it on to Sub Pop and the rest is history. The Thermals is an indie kid’s dream with a punk background. Their songs are fast, and front man, Hutch Harris’ vocals could match any of the big indie players.  Produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, The Body, the Blood, the Machine is a great album that reminds one of Bad Religion’s “American Jesus”.  According to the band’s biography on their official website, “The album (loosely) tells the story of a young couple who must flee a United States governed by fascist faux-Christians.”  An anti Bush, anti Christian album,  each song breaths the fear of a Republican forced Christian nation.  The album opens with “Here Your Future”.  Eleven seconds into the song, we are introduced to this bizarre rock sermon, “God reached his hand down from the sky, he flooded the land and he set it on fire.”  “Pillar of Salt” brings forth human nature with the lyric, “We were born to sin”. The most startling lyric comes from the song, “I Might Need You to Kill”. Some may think it is a comparison of Christianity to the Nazi party, “Locusts, Tornadoes, Crosses and Nazi Halos.” Yet, this writer truly believes its an attack on war. How can a Christian society go to war and kill, when it against the ten commandants. Harris simply is focusing on the hypocrisy  of religion and war.  Harris asks what any kid wants to ask in Sunday school, how is that possible?  Sadly looking ahead to the next Thermals album, Now We Can See seems to be censored. Perhaps Now We Can See is because it was released during a democratic term, or it could be maybe the Thermals were told to tone down a bit, either way God help us if this album foreshadows a Palin administration.

RM CRESSER © 2010 500 Rad Records


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