The first time I heard The Thermals was on broken headphones while riding the A Train to Rockaway, Brooklyn, flying mere feet over a frozen Jamaica Bay on a too-bright January morning. I had just fallen in love with a wonderful, terrible woman who was thousands of miles away. I was very fragile, I had no boundaries, and I was the strongest I’d ever been. And that’s how this album feels. There’s a new vulnerability here, but The Thermals’ sound is as strong as it’s ever been.
Summer Cannibals aren’t wasting any time. The punk-flecked four-piece from Portland hit the ground at full speed, their 2013 debut album No Makeup catching people completely off-guard in their hometown and beyond. In just a few short months, Summer Cannibals earned deserved props from some of their heroes—including a ringing endorsement from the Thermals—opened for international touring bands like Chvrches, and found themselves at #2 on the coveted “Best New Band” list in Willamette Week. Now they’re back with their second full-length, the raw, to-the-point Show Us Your Mind.
Catbath, a three-piece rock outfit hailing from Minneapolis, MN, began in the basement of Travis Franklin and Crystal Stockert’s south side duplex. The duo began mining the arsenal of songs Franklin had been stockpiling. They were eclectic, drawing from disparate genres and eras of rock—from sixties garage pop to grunge to metal. However, the common thread binding them together could not be obscured; the songs were chock-full of undeniable melodies and irrepressible pop hooks.