A great rock show should be like an action movie. All blood, guts and hefty amounts of grunting, it should leave everyone in the room covered in sweat of varied origin.
The Thermals are experts in both. Hell, the band even decided to structure new album 'Desperate Ground' as if it was an action movie, musing on life, death and the inevitability of warfare. A relentless struggle for survival, it saw the Portland trio reach back to the energy levels which rippled through those early recordings.
Out now via Saddle Creek, 'Desperate Ground' will be accompanied by a lung bursting spell on the road. Playing any flea pit, bordello and toilet venue which comes their way, The Thermals are preparing to bolt the doors and let the survivors tell the tale. Ahead of this, ClashMusic asked the band to muse on their favourite action scenes.
Westin Glass supplies the vowels and consonants.
– – –
Our new record, Desperate Ground, is all about war–attacking, killing, chasing, being chased, and fighting for your life. It's dark and violent, but a lot of fun too! It's about fighting for glory as part of a large force, but also about a lone rogue in the night, hunting and being hunted. We wanted the record to play like an action movie: fast-paced and scary the whole way through, with the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat. Here are a few of the movie scenes that really inspired us while we were writing the songs.
[Spoiler alert–every one of these is a spoiler. So if you haven't seen these movies…go rent them! They're awesome!]
Excalibur (1981) 'Prepare For Battle'
King Arthur drinks from the Holy Grail and suddenly realizes his destiny – to conquer.
First Blood (1982) 'Forest Hunt'
The sheriffs are hunting Rambo in the forest. They have no idea what they're up against. "Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe."
The Descent (2005) 'Blood Bath'
Separated from her friends, surrounded by unspeakable monsters, and submerged in a pool of blood and carnage, our heroine Sarah realizes she's on her own, and must kill or be killed.
Die Hard (1988) 'Broken Glass'
A lone, wisecracking NYC cop against a ruthless band of terrorists. In this scene, head bad guy Hans Gruber notices John McClane is barefoot and orders the terrorists to shoot out all the glass around him.
Kill Bill (2003) 'The Bride vs Gogo & The Crazy 88's'
The Bride, ridiculously outnumbered, makes her final stand against the evil Crazy 88's gang, and a total mess of their clubhouse.
– – –
The Thermals are set to play the following shows:
22 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
23 London The Garage