The Thermals: The Body The Blood The Machine


If Cormic McCarthy’s end-of-the-world novel The Road is made into a film before the world actually does end, this album by The Thermals should constitute the soundtrack.  Scene:  Father places pistol in the hands of his son.  Cabals of cannibal zombies claw their fingers raw.  Son?  Yes, father?  (A window breaks.)  “I Might Need You to Kill.” 

Urgent, dire, searing, bleak, here’s a grim glimpse down the road we’re all headed.  It starts with a church organ, faint, droning, but the sound is soon drowned out by guitar squall.  Wireless surveillance, walls at the border, standing armies everywhere, black market dirty bombs, the erosion of privacy, the merging of church and state – “Here’s Your Future.”  Run right out and reproduce.  “Back to the Sea” places Noah’s Ark imagery (“two by two”) squarely within the context of a concentration camp (“we’ll lead ‘em to the gas chamber”) as singer Hutch Harris opts for escape, crawling back to the waters from which we came, evolution in reverse.  Play this song during your lesson in Intelligent Design kids, and get ready for a little detention.  

Album-ender “I Hold the Sound” is a snapshot of the aftermath: radiation and a clean slate.  “The world is flat,” spits Harris.  Time for rediscovery.   

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