Music » Critics' Picks

The Thermals

Sunday, June 6; Creepy Crawl


"Fuckin' A" may be the most wonderfully ridiculous expletive around these days. Is it self-censorship of that unutterable "A"? What is the "A," anyhow? And if it stands for the less-offensive "ass," why not say "Effin' Ass?

The Thermals may be the most wonderfully ridiculous punk rockers around these days, so it's fitting that their new album, Fuckin A, is titled after that etymologically confusing curse. Like their album title, the Thermals are brief, satisfying and, when given a second glance, they don't quite make sense. Hutch Harris' snide vocal inflection seems better suited for emo (a road not taken, thankfully), and the fury of the band often threatens to quash the melodic arc of its songs. And the Thermals' lyrics won't be winning the Punk Pulitzer any time soon -- consider this couplet from the album-opening "Our Trip": "We're taking grip, we're talking shit/Our slate is clean, say what you mean."

But since when do rock lyrics make sense, anyway? What matters is the overall effect, and it says a lot about the energy and prowess of the Thermals that they can take essentially meaningless lyrics and turn them into something powerful. This is punk rock for pop fans (or vice-versa), and give the Thermals a (fuckin) A+ for bridging the gap once again.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Riverfront Times has been keeping St. Louis informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Riverfront Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.