The Thermals, April 22, Neurolux 

Portland, Ore.-based alternative/indie/punk band The Thermals may have slipped under your radar, but once they start to blip-blip across the screen, you'll want—no, need—to go back and unearth everything they've done.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALICIA ROSE
  • photo by Alicia Rose

The Thermals' third release, 2006's The Body, The Blood, The Machine on Sub Pop Records earned them an 8.5 out of 10 from Pitchfork.com. The Body's Armageddon theme centered on a world bent and nearly broken from years under the Bush regime. The trio's newest release, Now We Can See (April 6 on Kill Rock Stars) finds a post-apocalyptic world, the story's narrator speaking from the dead, reflecting on humanity at large. It's about "the things we've done to each other, our human arrogance and an awareness of what we've done," said Kathy Foster, Thermals bassist and sometimes drummer. "But even though [the theme] is really heavy, it can be positive," she added, the idea being that if we can grasp the concept of what our future could be, we can do something now to change it.

As hopefully the end to the band's Spinal Tap-like rotating roster of drummers, Westin Glass has joined Foster and guitarist Hutch Harris, who have been releasing music they've coined as "no-fi" and "post-pop-punk" since the early 2000s. Their catchy melodies and rhythms are a strange dichotomy in relation to their dense-as-dark-matter lyrics. But strange can be good, and where The Thermals are concerned, it definitely is.

Wednesday, April 22, 8 p.m., with The Shaky Hands and Point Juncture, WA, $10 advance/$12 door. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886.

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