Local Wire

The Thermals @ The Rhythm Room

The Thermals are an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. But who isn't an indie band from Portland these days? The novelty-tinged charm that used to go with repping the Rose City has diminished over the years. The Thermals, however, never quite bought into the clichés attached to so many of their Pacific Northwest colleagues. For starters, neither singer Hutch Harris nor drummer Westin Glass sport fuzzy, months-old beards. Breaking from tradition yet again, Kathy Harris is the band's bassist — a rare but very welcome female in the usually male-dominated indie rock world. Oh, and they're not adding weird instruments every album, either. Over their five-record (and counting) career, which gave the world Personal Life in September, they've stuck to their guns. When The Thermals started out in 2002, they were a nice addition to the indie rock milieu, and by sticking to their initial sound, the band has now become something of a throwback. Their stripped-down dynamic is perfect for crafting sub-three-minute songs that embody what made indie rock — and punk, for that matter — so endearing in the first place. What's not to love about a band that doesn't have to buy into the overwrought pretenses that come with playing a certain genre of music?

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Lopez