The Thermals are a little less angry, a little more depressing…

now we can see thermals

The Thermals have been known for their angsty social and political commentary. But on their new album, Now We Can See, they traded in their anger for frustrated depression. Because they refuse to be happy. Ever. Even a look at the new album cover tells a lot. A swan drifting in the moonlight is so much more Ben Gibbard than their last album cover of a censored-eyes Jesus and the apocalypse (band name anyone?).

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with this slight move to sadder themes. The band still sounds the same, they’re just a little down is all. Lyrics of their title track, “Now We Can See,” sum up the feel of the album pretty well:

“Yeah baby we were savage / we existed to kill / Our history is damaged / at least it was a thrill / But now we can see! / Now that our vision is strong / we dont have to admit we were wrong”

Right? It’s hopeful! Yet lead singer Hutch Harris says it’s an album of “songs from when we were alive.” Sad…

Musically, the album is the same stuff you’ve grown to expect from The Thermals. Lots of yelling and distortion and punk rock. It’s still the stuff you can mosh to in your back yard deck party, drinking your PBR with your wayfarers on. “Now We Can See” and “When I Died” are the classic tracks here, showing a more polished sound that still sticks to the basics.

They get a little less in your face with cuter tracks like “We Were Sick” and the They Might Be Giantsy “Liquid In, Liquid Out.” The Thermals have come a long way since their obscenely lo-fi debut, More Parts Per Million. The band has grown up musically and finally really polished their music. Lyrically, they’re still exploring and growing, and it’s great. I just hope they get to the happy fun stage soon.

Now We Can See is out now on Kill Rock Stars.

The Thermals – “Now We Can See” [MP3]

The Thermals – “When I Died” [MP3]

The Thermals – “Liquid In, Liquid Out” [MP3]

The Thermals on Myspace

4 comments to The Thermals are a little less angry, a little more depressing…

  • joe

    don’t listen to them if you can’t handle them.
    BTW lets have your creds that enables you to criticize them, what music have you ever made?

  • That happy fun stage better be at the Black Cat next month.

  • dan

    Joe, he is just a blogger letting us know his opinion on music. What if no one ever stated their opinion on anything? He isn’t claiming that his opinion is the end all be all of music.

  • roc

    “Happy fun” music in dark times is much more depressing in my opinion. I prefer their “punk” songs.