"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in The Flag and carrying The Cross." --Sinclair Lewis
Envision the United States as governed by a fascist Christian state, and then focus on the need (and means) to escape. The Thermals did just that and out came The Body, The Blood, The Machine. If you're not invited to the party, youâ€™d better start your ownâ€¦ The Thermalsâ€™ third full-length album was recorded at Supernatural Sound Studios in Oregon City, twenty miles south of their home base in Portland, OR, by Fugaziâ€™s Brendan Canty. Having already recorded The Thermals live, (the exclusive track "Welcome to the Planet" for the Portland edition of his Burn to Shine DVD series) Canty and The Thermals got along swimmingly. This surprised no one, as they are all basically wonderful human beings. Plus, Canty was a natural choice given The Thermals' history of recording with fellow musicians. To wit: Death Cab for Cutieâ€™s Chris Walla mixed The Thermalsâ€™ first LP, More Parts Per Million (recorded by The Thermals' Hutch Harris) and recorded and mixed The Thermals' second LP, Fuckin' A. And, the band has done some as-yet-unreleased recording with Janet Weiss (from Sleater-Kinney and Quasi), as well as Joanna Bolme (formerly of The Minders; currently in Stephen Malkmusâ€™s band The Jicks). After the unfortunate departure of original Thermals drummer Jordan Hudson in late 2005, Kathy Foster and Hutch Harris (bass and guitar/vocals, respectively) split up duties on the new record themselves, as they had on 2002â€™s Hutch and Kathy LP (Jealous Butcher Records), just before The Thermals got started. For The Body, The Blood, The Machine, Foster performed double duty as The Thermalsâ€™ rhythm section for almost the entire record while Harris sang, played all the guitar tracks and some of the bass onesâ€”they shared keyboard/organ duties. With a wider, brighter, and wilder sound than anything The Thermals have done in the past, The Body, The Blood, The Machine adds walls of guitars, organs, and even a few "ballads" (i.e. slightly pretty songs like â€œTest Patternâ€?) to the mix, while still retaining the gritty post-pop-punk* sound for which The Thermals are globally famous. While hardly a concept album, there is definitely a story told in the songs: a story about getting the fuck OUT while you still can. The record opens with "Here's Your Future,â€? a grim warning of the shape of (hopefully fictitious) things to come. "Bend your knees/bow your heads/save your babies/here's your future," sings Harris, as a razor thin guitar line and a bare kick and snare beat open into a fiery wall of noise and paranoid exuberance. Shit gets a little freakier with "I Might Need You to Kill", a heavy neo-grunge** romp in which The Thermals channel Nirvana, as Harris rants on about fanatics further blurring the line between Jesus and Hitler. All of that before the third song... And the story goes on, with a daring escape ("A Pillar of Salt"), and a quick return (the not-entirely-un-AC/DC-like "Returning to the Fold"), you know, just to grab a few things we forgot. There are also six more songs that rock very hard and from which we think you will derive significant pleasure, regardless of whether or not you buy into all the paranoid babble that comes with them. Upon completing The Body, The Blood, The Machine, The Thermals recruited local drummer extraordinaire Lorin Coleman to assume live drum duties. Coleman has been a fixture in the Portland music scene for years, performing in many Portland area staples in the recent past. The Thermals live in Southeast Portland, Oregon a virtual working model of a modern-day utopia, replete with clean air, well-groomed-but-greasy hair, and cheap rents for (hardly) starving artists.