The Thermals are back and this time around they actually witnessed firsthand what a studio looks like from the inside and they met an actual producer. This means no more messing around in the kitchen with a 4-track. But it also means that the roughest edges are no more on “Now We Can See”. Luckily producer John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, Modest Mouse) keeps things messy enough to not let us forget that we are dealing with The Thermals here. The band themselves don’t exactly help here as they largely trade in their punkrock sound for powerpop.
Luckily, some things stay the same. Like the band’s ability to write übercatchy songs with sharp riffs, upbeat rhythms and Harris’s voice. One exception to the Thermals rule is “At The Bottom Of The Sea”, a very mellow song that’s stretched out over 5 minutes yet still manages to keep your attention.
I don’t how they keep pulling off these gems but kudos!