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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Homemade heat

After years of wading through the Northwest’s melancholy indie-rock scene, Hutch Harris was tired of being soaked to the bone by mass ambivalence. He took refuge in the warmth of his apartment kitchen and baked up The Thermals.

Hutch and his trusty four-track recorder were simply seeking catharsis in those pantry sessions, but fate had a greater vision. Word spread locally about the recording and soon perfect strangers were requesting copies. Realizing that he may have been onto something more than culinary excellence, Hutch enlisted bass player Kathy Foster and drummer Jordan Hudson and The Thermals were born.

Seattle indie-star tastemakers, Sub Pop Records-original home to Nirvana, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Shins, The Postal Service et. al.-quickly caught wind of the band’s homespun (literally) indie rock and snatched up their sonic souls to the tune of a three-record deal.

Hutch retreated back to his humble abode and came forth with the band’s debut, More Parts Per Million.

Sub Pop saw The Thermal’s seminal outing as complimentary to the label’s roster of lo-fi rock, but with a “twist.” The twist being Harris’ innate knack for writing emotional rock songs that don’t sound anything like his cursed “emo-rock” contemporaries.

To capture this essence in a more sterile environment, Sub Pop pried Hutch from his kitchen table and sent his band into the studio to forge F*****’ A-a record of heart-on-its-flannel-sleeve confessionals that are kinda grunge and kinda indie rock, but always with the amps turned up to 11. Literally, each instrument (including Hutch’s Fugazi-esque scream) is pushed to the point of beautiful, almost unintentional, overdriven distortion.

Take the aftermath of this destruction, cast it onto the Kilby Court stage, and out comes a heart-string trashing, fuzzed-out festival of sweet-and-sour indie rock, that’ll leave the world with only one phrase left on its tongue: F*****’A!

[email protected]

The Thermals Feb. 2, 2005 Kilby Court showtime 7 p.m. Tickets at the door.

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