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Do you remember your first punk show? The sweat-soaked, electric fury that infected the hundred or so maniacs around you, all of whom thrashed in worship of the three or four enraged faces on stage; it hit you as hard as the most devious high. Lately, we've been hard-pressed to find our riotous fix as shows have become more of a spectator sport. That was, until we invited The Thermals to perform at The Launch Pad down in Austin.

The ingredients were perfect. The Thermals had just released their latest record Desperate Ground on the emblematic indie label Saddle Creek, and it reached deep into their rowdiest roots. With Hutch Harris's songwriting as grimly inspiring as ever, the Portland punk trio led our at-capacity dive bar into a turbulent state of awe. With Hutch and Westin themselves diving head-first into the sea of ravenous fans, this was truly one of the most memorable concerts we've filmed to date. Be sured to stick it out til the end - during the closing song "Here's Your Future", a faithful fan hops on stage, grabs the mic and finishes the final few lines.

Transcript

The Thermals from Portland.
Go fast, go slow Go sly, go low
Where the hell you wanna be
All systems intact The red and the black
Black eventually Go fast, go slow Go sly,
go low Where the hell you wanna be
All systems intact The red and the black
Black eventually Count the numbers and the words
And the numbness in return
Go sly, go low Go sly go low Where the hell you wanna be
All systems intact The red and the black
Black eventually Get fat and wasted
Get smashed in the face Where the hell you wanna be
Go fast, go slow Go sly, go low Where the hell you wanna be
Count the numbers and the words Count the numbers and the words
And the numbness in return They go four, three, two
Four, three, two, one If it only means to sing loud
It's only trivia So don't freak out
I regret leaving my soul I forgot I needed it to feel
And maybe when I die I'll just grab it real quick
I'm coming right back
I regret leaving my mind I forgot I needed it to think
And maybe to keep me alive I can't believe I got so far
with a head so empty But I still have eyes
Wait for me Wait for me But I still have feet
Wait for me Wait for me
I regret leaving at all I forgot I needed God
like a big brother And maybe when I die
Yeah, when I die I won't die escaping
I'll die returning to the fold
But I still have eyes Wait for me Wait for me
But I still have feet Wait for me Wait for me But I still have faith
If I ever had faith Wait for me Wait for me
I was born to kill I was made to slay
Unafraid to spill blood on the land When you command, I will
I am locked to fate Locked to the lives I take
I will never be done I'll always be hungry
And each final breath I breathe Burns a bright fire inside of me
And it keeps me alive Keeps me alive
I was born to kill I was made to slay
Unafraid to feel Blood on my hands When you command, I will
I am locked to joy Locked to the lives I destroy
I will never be dry I'll never be satisfied
And each final breath I breathe Burns a bright fire inside of me
And it keeps me alive Keeps me alive
Till the day in the dirt I lie Till my ashes scatter in the sea
I will not be denied my destiny
Oh, I was born to kill I was made to slay
Unafraid to spill Blood on the land When you command I will
I was born to kill When you command I will
I can feel the ache And I can feel it breaking
One hand on the head One hand on the bed
Breathing in the blank shots Breathing in the blank shots
One hand on the head One hand on the bed
I can't focus on the haze I'm still choking on the craving
Waiting for the only sound I haven't heard Hoping this is as low as we can
get.
Wading in the images we're soon to forget And I may be out of it
But I'm still into you Oh, I'm born dead I'm born again
I can feel the ache And I can feel it break
Come towards the call No poison crawling
Absorb, absorb Absorb, shut down
No short lines and only short lies count 'em backwards in four words or less
or more I can't focus on the haze I'm still choking on the craving
Waiting for the only sound I haven't heard
Hoping this is as low as we can get
Wading in the images we're soon to forget I may be out of it But I'm still
into you.
I'm born dead I'm born again I can feel the ache
And I can feel it breaking
- Thank you, guys, so much.
We were born to sin We were born to sin
We don't think we're special, sir We know everybody is
We built too many walls Yeah, we built too many walls
And now we gotta run A giant fist is out to crush us
Now I stick to the ground I stick to the ground
I won't look twice at dead walls I don't want my wife a pillar of salt
I carry my baby I carry my baby Her eyes can barely see
Her mouth can barely breathe I can see she's afraid
That's why we're escaping So we don't have to die
We don't have to deny Our dirty god Our dirty bodies
Now I stick to the ground I stick to the ground
I won't look twice at dead walls I don't want my wife a pillar of salt
I carry my baby I carry my baby Her eyes can barely see
Her mouth can barely breathe I can see she's afraid
That's why we're escaping So we don't have to die
We don't have to deny Our dirty god Our dirty bodies
Hardly art, hardly starving Hardly art, hardly garbage
Hardly art, hardly starving Hardly art, hardly garbage
More colored liquid No scent, no skin
More stained paper More parts per million
No new deafness No self-reference
No cults and No new stands
Know what I feel Know what I feel No two the same No two with the same
name Hardly art, hardly starving Hardly art, hardly starving Hardly art,
hardly starving Hardly art, hardly started More colored liquid No scent, no skin More stained paper
More parts per million No new deafness No self-reference No getting psyched on
No culture icons No one ideal Know what I feel
No two the same No two with the same name No one ideal Know what I
feel Oh, oh, oh, Hardly art, hardly starving Hardly art,
hardly garbage Hardly art, hardly starving Hardly art,
hardly garbage More colored liquid No scent, no skin More stained paper
More parts per million No new deafness No self-reference No getting psyched on
No culture icons No one ideal Know what I feel
No two the same name No two with the same name Eyes so deep, you'd never see
through I can't fucking stop thinking about you
- This is our last song, thank you so much for coming out to our live show at the Launch Pad, we had such an amazing week, thank you so much for Baeble Music for having us, and thank you for coming.
God reached his hand down from the sky He flooded the land and he set it afire
He said "Fear me again, know I'm your father
Remember that no one can breathe underwater"
So bend your knees and bow your heads Save your babies, here's your future
Yeah, here's your future
God reached his hand down from the sky God asked Noah if he wanted to die
He said "No sir, oh, no sir!"
God said, "Here's your future, it's gonna rain." So we're packing
our things, we're building a boat We're gonna create a new master race
Cause we're so pure, oh Lord, we're so pure So here's your future
God told his son, "It's time to come home I promise you won't have to die all
alone I need you to pay for the sins I create."
The Son said "I will, but dad, I'm afraid!"
Yeah, so here's your future
Yeah, so here's your future
Yeah, so here's your future So here's your future
So here's your future So here's your future
So here's your future So here's your future
So here's your future
thank you so much.

Artist Bio

The Thermals are an indie/alternative/post-pop-punk rock band from Portland, Oregon, USA. The group formed in the summer of 2002.

Their debut LP, More Parts Per Million, was conceived and recorded in the kitchenette of singer Hutch Harris's house, known as The Moss Motel, in southeast Portland, Oregon. The album was recorded on a 4-track cassette machine, with total tracking costs around $10. A demo of the record was passed from Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service) to indie giant Sub Pop Records, who signed The Thermals after they had played just a handful of shows. MPPM was then mixed by Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla at The Hall Of Justice in Seattle, Washington. Sub Pop released the record in March of 2003. A blistering slice of "no-fi", MPPM was rated everything from "un-listenable" to "very fucking listenable". The original live line-up of The Thermals consisted of Kathy Foster (who had collaborated with Harris on various musical projects for years prior) on bass, Jordan Hudson on drums, and Ben Barnett on guitar. Harris sang, flailed about, and occasionally stripped naked onstage. Barnett left the group after the first few tours for MPPM, Harris picked up a guitar, and The Thermals became what is commonly known as a power trio.

Harris, Foster and Hudson returned to Seattle in the early winter of 2004, to record their second album, Fuckin' A. They re-teamed with Chris Walla, who manned all recording and mixing duties this time around, at Seattle's famed Avast studio. With a sound more in the mid- to some-fi area, Fuckin' A achieved the main goal The Thermals had in mind while creating it, which was to receive a parental warning sticker. Released in July 2004, The Thermals toured the US and Europe relentlessly in support of Fuckin' A, before returning to Portland to record their unreleased, or "lost" LP with Joanna Bolme (The Jicks), at the original Jackpot Recording Studio. The album was tentatively titled We Sleep In A Holy Bed, and has yet to see the light of day. Harris and Foster split with Hudson soon after, in the fall of 2005. No less than three people would play drums for The Thermals over the next three years, including Caitlin Love, Lorin Coleman, and even Kathy Foster herself.

For their third record, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster hired Brendan Canty of Fugazi to produce. Canty had recently recorded a Thermals song for his "Burn To Shine" series, in which indie bands perform at a house slated to be burned by the fire department. TBTBTM was recorded at Supernatural Sound in Oregon City, with Foster playing drums on all tracks, and splitting bass duties with Harris. The album (loosely) tells the story of a young couple who must flee a United States governed by fascist faux-Christians. TBTBTM was released in August of 2006, and subsequently featured in many Best-Of-2006 lists, including Pitchfork, Spin, NPR, and The Onion's A.V. Club. The Thermals toured for close to two years following TBTBTM's release, and were briefly a four-piece again (Harris, Foster, Coleman, and Joel Burrows on second guitar). This line-up dissolved in early 2008, and Hutch and Kathy set about making another record as a duo.

The Thermals have recently released their fourth and possibly best album to date, Now We Can See. After an amicable split with Sub Pop, the band has signed with the iconic Northwest label Kill Rock Stars, recently relocated to Portland, Oregon. Now We Can See was recorded by John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, Polyphonic Spree) again at Supernatural, and at Congleton's studio Elmwood in Dallas, Texas. NWCS is full of the hi-fi power for which Congleton is famous, and continues The Thermals' tradition of raw punk energy combined with brilliant melodies and intelligent lyrics. Hutch and Kathy recorded NWCS the same way they did TBTBTM: as a duo, with Foster acting as a one-woman rhythm section for the entire record. Westin Glass joined The Thermals soon after the recording was completed, to become the fourth drummer for The Thermals, sixth if you count Harris and Foster. Please insert your own Spinal Tap joke here, thanks.

The Thermals are most famous for discovering a fourth chord in pop-punk. It's F#minor, in case you were wondering. The Thermals have also made many fine contributions to rock journalism, including the terms

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