The Thermals

Following 2004’s rampant and brilliant ‘Fuckin A’, Portland’s The Thermals slowed things down to Bushbate and swipe at middle America’s religious fanaticism through ‘The Body, The Blood, The Machine’.

They wanted their disillusioned lyrics to be heard, and they were. But Barack Obama runs The Thermal’s native land now,

which is probably where this fourth album title comes from, along with the band’s most upbeat material to date.

‘When I Died’ and ‘We Were Sick’ might not suggest that this trio are smiles these days, and it would be terrible if they were. Thermals

Because the real strength of ‘Now We Can See’ is summed up in a title track melodically designed for a euphoric terrace chant-a-long, yet still as savage and direct in its lyrics as The Thermals have ever been.

The slow evolution of these three punks continues very nicely indeed.

Named after one of the factory’s electrical components, they decided from the outset they’d go it alone – like their heroes The Feelies, The Troggs and The Zombies – without much help.

“We’re pretty proud of how far we’ve got without involving many other people,” croaks Mikey.

“We don’t have any managers or bookers, it’s all done by us. For the moment, before it becomes a real stress, I’d rather just do it myself.”

True to their word they’ve released both their records so far – 2006’s eponymous debut and 2008’s ‘Primary Colours’ – on their own label Aarght!.

Both albums will be packaged together and released on Melodic records (Minotaur Shock, The Longcut) in the UK this summer.

And it’s that LP, ‘Primary Colours’, which incredibly got nominated for an ARIA – Australia’s version of the Brits – last year. Perspective?

That’s like The Shitty Limits getting a nod for Best International Band alongside The Script. “We don’t really belong in that sort of category with real bands,” laughs Mikey.

“It was just a strange thing. You get a limo to the red carpet and you’re walking past Pink… it was bizarre. We didn’t win.”

Amongst Australia’s vapid music-arti isn’t the only time they’ve felt out of place either.

The band refuse to do photo shoots after giving in to doing one for America’s Spin magazine last year.

“We did this one photo shoot – I know the girl who did it, she was lovely – but for us it was excruciating – we couldn’t handle it,” he says.

“Then the magazine came out and we all hated the photo.

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