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Album Review

The Thermals – We Disappear


An album that stands up in a catalogue of gems.

Label: Saddle Creek
Released: 25th March 2016

Rating: ★★★★

On The Thermals’ latest offering, the Portland, Oregon powerhouse of rock continue their quest of irreversibly catchy, gritty rock-pop.

To follow a lifespan of anthemic LPs, EP’s and 7”s, including that of 2006’s ‘The Body, The Blood, The Machine’, which holds itself as one of the greatest indie-punk albums of all time (check ‘A Pillar Of Salt’ and ‘Returning To The Fold’ as two of the most insatiable air-guitar soundtracks), The Thermals have given themselves a tough job.

But ‘We Disappear’ doesn’t leave a lot to be desired. Hutch Harris, Kathy Foster and Westin Glass have made a righteous seventh album, seething with downtrodden optimism and numb adolescence. Produced by Chris Walla, formerly of Death Cab For Cutie, the sound of the record has a charming cathartic sense of singularity which, though tunes into a slower, nodding side of indie rock, contains Harris’ familiar biting refrains.

Tracks like ‘If We Don’t Die Today’ and ‘Thinking Of You’ make ‘We Disappear’ nothing short of continuing a winning streak, with a level of the hooks that surpasses their last full-length, ‘Desperate Ground’. While the album had its highlights on ‘Born To Kill’, the newest speaks the same language throughout.

Closing track ’10 Years In A Day’ perhaps is The Thermals most bearing tune to date, experimenting with a sound that falls somewhere between the brightening chord-structures of Death Cab For Cutie and the distant echoes of Band Of Horses. And on an uncompromisingly rocking, introspective album that could only ever sound like The Thermals, ‘We Disappear’ is a killer return to the fold for the Portland trio.

The wait was well been worth it, for the ten tracks breathe in a blast of fresh air and a lifetime of influences to create an album that stands up in a catalogue of gems. Giles Bidder