The Thermals: A Generation In 108 Seconds

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Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "When We Were Alive"
  • Artist: The Thermals
  • CD: Now We Can See
  • Genre: Punk
The Thermals 300

The Thermals' members sum up a massive legacy of missed opportunities without stopping for breath. Alicia J. Rose hide caption

toggle caption Alicia J. Rose

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Lots of bands play speedball punk rock, but The Thermals' members manage to infuse theirs with monster hooks and a surprising abundance of ideas. As massively enjoyable as it is, the band's remarkable 2006 album The Body the Blood the Machine bubbles over with conflicted views of organized religion; it's packed with legitimate food for thought, even as brains are getting thrashed along with the beat.

So leave it to The Thermals to sum up an entire generation's legacy of timidity and missed opportunities — "We closed our minds, we shut our traps / We built a house, the house collapsed" — and condense it into 108 blistering seconds. Rarely has a song said so much so efficiently, as frontman Hutch Harris spits out bravado ("You should have seen us in our prime") and regret ("We didn't try when we were alive") with the same red-faced ferocity. He could be speaking for a specific generation, or any of them at once, but every second of his lament begs to be played at deafening volume.

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The Thermals. Thomas Oliver/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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