The Thermals
The Body, The Blood, The Machine


5.0
classic

Review

by YetAnotherBrick USER (32 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2015 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tight-knit, plummeting ball of articulate fury, admirably obsessed with its concept. The stuff of revolutions.

The genius of The Body, The Blood, The Machine isn't necessarily in its melodies, or even in what the album sonically ends up as. This album has its priorities straight. It's precisely emotional and emotionally precise. It's a fast-paced, up-front indie album with a meaningful concept intentionally made clear.

Lyrical references are mostly of religious association, but the words magnify these concepts to show what's really going on there, religion or no religion. Vocalist Hutch Harris's performance is right at the front of the mix, and his captivating talk-singing works for clear enunciation, without sacrificing the passion. The album tells a story you would have to be trying not to find at least some familiarity in.

The guitars have clean effects but get strummed with speed and conviction, and at times the songs get broken up by lightly distorted riffs and solos, but it's never to show off musicianship; they take as little time as possible to separate the song while keeping things memorable, and they always work. It gives the album a punkish appearance, especially the guitar lead in "A Pillar of Salt," with the way it slides around the frets and then ends in a blink. The concept is never forgotten, and the songs never lose their uniquely noticeable tightness.

They're tight, yet dynamic. The spaces in the guitar line from which the vocals emerge in "Returning to the Fold" turn the song into an anthem. And one about the illusion of death, no less: " I regret leaving my soul, I forgot I needed it, To feel / Maybe when I die, I'll just grab it real quick / I'm comin' right back." "Power Doesn't Run on Nothing" runs on a continuously biting, upbeat pace that emphasizes its especially scathing nature: "Our power doesn't run on nothing / It runs on blood, and blood is easy to obtain / When you have no shame." And "Test Pattern" takes a slight turn for the subdued, slowing down a bit and strumming a bit easier, even going as far as finding optimism in its uncertainty.

Despite its clever, yet never mean or profane, rails against hypocrisy and oppression, the album ends on a note of quite universal hope with "I Hold the Sound." Despite all the hypocrisy and oppression occurring everywhere, I bet you all could still agree with the song's beautifully simple chorus: "I hold you, I hold the sound." It makes one want to start a revolution. Its huge theme conveyed through its little words give the song an epic, outwardly expanding tone. It may sound in need of some more reverb at first, but the passion, the edge, and the clarity of it are evidence that it doesn't need any dampening.

And that goes for the entire album. Every song is a wonderfully tight-knit ball of articulate fury, and they're all connected by either their melodies or sudden spurts of controlled noise from which a new riff hatches. Either way, nothing ever stops or sputters. The Body, The Blood, The Machine takes you on a perfectly digestible journey through injustice and onward to hope, in the most engaging way you can with these instruments. Too precise to be punk, yet too bitter and confident to be lumped in with popular "indie," just call this album... a masterpiece.



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user ratings (175)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
ChloeAUTM (4.5)
The Body, the Blood, The Machine by The Thermals is an amazing beautiful, angry, sarcastic, LEGENDAR...


Comments:Add a Comment 
YetAnotherBrick
August 22nd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

listen to it

Digging: Neoandertals - Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child

Gyromania
August 22nd 2015


18353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

all right, brick. i'm going to try this album again.



i remember really liking here's your future when i heard it on Weeds, but when i checked out the album i was disappointed.

YetAnotherBrick
August 22nd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

that song was on Weeds? damn, that's awesome. and i'm glad i swayed you haha

YetAnotherBrick
August 23rd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They can tell me what to read, they can tell me what to eat, they can beat me and send me the bill-

BUT THEY TELL ME WHAT TO FEEL?! I MIGHT NEED YOU TO KILL!

FreddieDelaney31
August 23rd 2015


258 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this review got me to go back to this album for the first time in years, used to be an old favorite. Just as phenomenal as I remember

Digging: The Wonder Years - No Closer to Heaven

YetAnotherBrick
August 23rd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good to hear, man

FreddieDelaney31
August 23rd 2015


258 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review as well man, pos'd

YetAnotherBrick
August 23rd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank ya

Gyromania
August 23rd 2015


18353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah idk man, i like this WAY more than i did when i heard it a few years back

YetAnotherBrick
August 23rd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You've gotten more cultured

Gyromania
August 23rd 2015


18353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

st. rosa and the swallows is pure gold

Gyromania
August 23rd 2015


18353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

power doesn't run on nothing is also really freakin good

CL0VER
August 23rd 2015


1144 Comments


This album is so damn good

FreddieDelaney31
August 23rd 2015


258 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the songwriting and instrumentation is SO good but what really makes this special for me is the lyrics and vocals, I love the vocals on this so damn much

YetAnotherBrick
August 23rd 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^ right? the vocals were a little off-putting to me at first, but by about halfway through i was in love. and yeah Gyro, Power is prolly my second favorite after Returning to the Fold

Ashen
August 31st 2015


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is fucking quality



great review too

Digging: Bossk - .1

Gyromania
August 31st 2015


18353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah this shit is cash money

YetAnotherBrick
September 4th 2015


5217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you mean ca$h money



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