The Thermals

Portland's Thermals remember a time when indie rock meant plugging in and making a noise as loud as your anger, or as vibrant as your excitement, or as jittery as your anxiety. Fuckin A, their second album, sounds like Superchunk back before the strings came in: short, sharp blasts of raw guitar noise about disappointment and determination, sloppily but expertly banged into shape with the tools of rush-hour melody, cardboard-box drums and triumphant not-quite-solos. Watching 'em live, where they turn bite-size into life-size, you'll wonder why they even bothered to make a record.


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