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Fuckin A

The Thermals
Fuckin A
(Sub Pop)

Hutch Henry and Kathy Foster of The Thermals used to be in a folkly little duo that was simply called their namesakes (Hutch and Kathy). Somewhere along the line they got amped up a bit and collided with Jordan Hudson to form the group that has now spit out 2 full-length albums running under 30 minutes apiece. Fuckin A is actually quite an appropriate title for this dirty little pop-punk gem, as it's all about brashness and even a bit of being bratty, although the group has changed things up ever-so-slightly since their debut More Parts Per Million.

The two biggest changes are a slight upgrade in production (the album was recorded by upper-northwest mainstay Chris Walla), although there's still plenty of fuzz. The second small change is that the group isn't afraid to get a little bit more political. Hell, neither of the above things are a detriment and in some ways could even be looked at as positives. The group again blisters through a dozen tracks in under 30 minutes and only let up for a few moments in that time. Opening with "Our Trip," the album kicks things off with a wail of feedback and a rollicking rhythm section that pop perfectly behind the vocals of Henry before breaking off into even more raucous choruses. "Every Stitch" continues along the same path, moving even faster with blistering guitars and over the top vocals that sound like John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats on a cranked-up tip.

"God And Country" is one of their more overtly aforementioned political tracks and even though the lyrics are more overt than cryptic ("Pray for a new state / pray for assassination"), they fit perfectly with the relentless instrumental backing. As you could guess from the title, this stuff isn't rocket science, but the group certainly makes things seem easier than they with nary a stumble over the course of the blistering album. I have to admit that I don't listen to this type of stuff nearly as much as I used to, but The Thermals blast through Fuckin A with such gusto that I've found myself putting it in the player a lot lately.

Rating: 7.5