Posted by: dougery | April 8, 2007

Get Out Yr Long-Johns

Its Easter, its cold as Hell and I’m as far from organized religion as I’ve ever been. Good thing I have the Thermals to keep me warm.

I purchased their latest album with a gift certificate around X-mas time. The Body, the Blood, the Machine sat around for months until I gave it a listen on a cold, lonely CTA ride home last Thursday. It struck a dreary Winter has over-stayed its welcome, Spring better get its ass in gear, hopeful kinda chord in me.

The album is punk in the Ted Leo sorta way. It is political but shaded enough to, let’s say, avoid being compared to the rather bald ‘conservative America is bad’ arguments of American Idiot. Many of the songs feature very compelling religious narratives, prodigal sons, Father’s Who Must Be Obeyed, imagery of floods, famines, and fires. The Thermals don’t hide the fact that they believe those in power are fueling their machine of war with the hearts and minds of a populace charged by a ersatz religiosity more ‘crucify the non-believer!’ than ‘turn the other cheek.’ But they never get preachy. You never get an us v. them vibe. In an odd way this is the first punk band I’ve heard where you can actually tell they love the people they are out to save. Which is more than I can say for most organized religions.

My faith is restored. Through lyrics like this:

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.”
Son said, “I will but Dad I’m afraid!!”

followed of course by some incredible guitar-work that forces me to hop around the apartment like 5 year old. Croftie can attest. And roll her eyes. But I know on the inside she’s smiling. Because some morals just need to be accompanied with an air guitar.


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