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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars portland lo-fi = good
It seems that everything coming from America these days is rock-by-numbers, uninventive and uninspired. Sub Pop probably realised this, and that’s probably why they unleashed The Thermals onto an unsuspecting world. Probably. Far from being generic rock, the Thermals exhibit a distorted, twisted lo-fi sound where songs are ejected at roughly 200mph before...
Published on 30 Jan 2004 by B. Marwood

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more parts per million
The thermals sound like a Guided by Voices being fed on too much cheap orange squash. This hyperactive debut arrives in a crashing mess of distorted vocals which is soundtracked by a noise that could buckle under its own energy.
The album was originally recorded on a four-track cassette recorder in one of the band member's house. These thirteen fun snippets of punk...
Published on 12 Mar 2003 by ross_hallett


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more parts per million, 12 Mar 2003
This review is from: More Parts Per Million (Audio CD)
The thermals sound like a Guided by Voices being fed on too much cheap orange squash. This hyperactive debut arrives in a crashing mess of distorted vocals which is soundtracked by a noise that could buckle under its own energy.
The album was originally recorded on a four-track cassette recorder in one of the band member's house. These thirteen fun snippets of punk infused lo-fi generate an exciting live feel that at a mere twenty seven minutes and forty six seconds does not out stay its welcome. I bought the album on the strength of the single "No Culture Icons" and was slightly disappointed by the rest of the album but only because this is a very good song.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars portland lo-fi = good, 30 Jan 2004
By 
B. Marwood (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: More Parts Per Million (Audio CD)
It seems that everything coming from America these days is rock-by-numbers, uninventive and uninspired. Sub Pop probably realised this, and that’s probably why they unleashed The Thermals onto an unsuspecting world. Probably. Far from being generic rock, the Thermals exhibit a distorted, twisted lo-fi sound where songs are ejected at roughly 200mph before disappearing even quicker than they arrived.
Opener ‘It’s Trivia’ is one of the more relaxed songs on the album in terms of tempo, but definitely sets the scene for the rest of the album as vocalist Hutch Harris half sings/screams over the top of the simplest of two-note riffs and distorted drums. It’s like the best bits of Ikara Colt, Mclusky and the Parkinsons all rolled into one. By the time second track ‘Brace and Break’ kicks in, swiftly followed by the single ‘No Culture Icons’, the Thermals sound like they’re at breaking point. This is probably because “More Parts Per Million” was recorded on a 4-track in Hutch Harris’ bedroom, so the mix is incredibly “dirty”. If you’re looking for glossy, hi-fi, expensive production music you’ll have to shop elsewhere.
Similarly, if you’ve heard a Thermals song and are unimpressed, you’re probably not going to like this. There is only one sound on this album: fast, loud, distorted lo-fi-punk. There is no big anthem and no Slow Song About Love. Normally this singular sound would be detrimental to an album, but “More Parts Per Million” just isn’t long enough to get boring. With the average length of a Thermals song being two minutes, this 13-track album is over within half an hour. None of the songs are long enough to get boring, and this means you’ll always want more. This in itself showcases the incredible songwriting talent evident here, as each song (no exceptions) is laden with catchy choruses and easy riffs.
It’s hard to describe what’s “missing” from this album, but it’s not perfect. It’s hard to give an album five stars when it’s shorter than an episode of Eastenders. Though it easily bears repeated listening, the lack of variety means you won’t listen to it as often as the “classics” you have. If you’re interested in lo-fi, no-fi, distorted punk give this album a try. You will not be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Up there for this year's albums, 6 Feb 2004
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Mr. Graham Colebeck "gcolebeck" (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: More Parts Per Million (Audio CD)
Well, I bought this on the strength of some magazine review that mentioned "spiky, punky pop" and I wasn't disappointed (although it does remind me of Placebo in Nancy Boy mode at times, which isn't a bad thing in my book).
Quite whether it will stand the test of time (like say Marquee Moon by Television), well that's debateable but it certainly stands out as one of this best albums this year - unlike most of the new wave of overhyped garage bands (I'm thinking Datsuns et al), The Thermals display a handy skill: the ability to right damn good songs!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fired up and full of passion, 3 Feb 2004
This review is from: More Parts Per Million (Audio CD)
Read this somewhere and totally agree!! "Snowballing so perfectly together, the words feel made for each other" Everything is so simple, why someone already hasn't done it eludes me- the band are so unique. Go and buy this albumn if you're into garage rock type bands.(even if not it may change your mind- it did mine!)
support the unknown!(downloading isn't big or clever!)
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