How do spell fun? T-h-e T-h-e-r-m-a-l-s! OK, OK, that's the Thermals, the opening act at Matt & Kim's Fort Lauderdale show at Culture Room next Sunday, June 5. The Portland trio specializes in no-frills, unadorned fuzzy rock 'n' roll. Most of the time, it's propelled by punk's fast tempos and shout-sung vocals. Other times, it may veer slightly more toward classic "indie," which is to say, slower tempos but not any cleaner chords.
In fact, since the group's 2002 inception, its sound has changed little -- a good thing, since every song neatly delivers a pleasant caffeine and sugar rush. However, the Thermals are not all froth. Under the pop and fizz of the band's musical surface and despite its relative commercial success, the band is still very much rooted in punk politics.
Unlike tour mates Matt & Kim, the band has largely turned down commercial-placement opportunities, including, infamously, a $50,000 offer from Hummer. And the band's 2006 album, The Body, The Blood, the Machine was a high-concept slab that narrated a tale of a young couple escaping the United States after the country was taken over by religious hypocrites.
Still, never ones to stay mired in gloom for too long, the band decided to explore more intimate avenues on its most recent album, Personal Life, released this past September on Kill Rock Stars. If anything, the recurrence of forms of "I" and "You" in the title should give a hint on the overarching theme here -- love and relationships. Download the lead single, "I Don't Believe You," below, and check out the video, which includes appearances from Sleater Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock
The Thermals, with Autobot and Matt & Kim. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.