Ever staying true to their signature fuzzy punk pop sound, Portland’s The Thermals return with their seventh full length, We Disappear, their second release on Saddle Creek. With We Disappear, The Thermals stick to the scrappy and scratchy production of their previous record, Desperate Ground. Kicking off with upbeat Into The Code, the trio set the record’s tone.
With most songs under 3 minutes runtime, Justin Harris belts lyrics about death (If We Don’t Die Today, The Great Dying), technophobia (Into The Code), and break ups (My Heart Went Cold, Thinking Of You) over feedback screeches and power chords.
The Thermals have found their sound, and how could they not have after eight years of consistent lineup. Like all their albums, We Disappear adheres to the 10 song formula. No bonus tracks, no instant grats, no deluxe edition and no bullshit.
The Thermals would benefit from stepping out of their comfort zone
The lyrics are the album’s Achilles’ heel. While Harris has proven that he is perfectly able to write a punch line – most notably on the anti-Bush record The Body, The Blood, The Machine (2006) – the lyrics on We Disappear often consist of empty phrases, whoa ohs and uninspired rhymes such as If we don’t die today / Tell me it will be okay / That we can still be near (If We Don’t Die Today).
While The Thermals would benefit from stepping out of their comfort zone every now and then, they are content to release an album every few years. And why shouldn’t they? It’s not like they ever made a bad album. In the end, it’s all fun while it lasts but somehow The Thermals seem unable to reach the heights of The Body, The Blood, The Machine again.
We Disappear is out via Saddle Creek on March 25th.
Stream: The Thermals – We Disappear
Also published on Medium.