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The Body the Blood the Machine

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With a wider, brighter, and wilder sound than anything they've done in the past, this record adds walls of guitars, organs, and even a few "ballads" (a.k.a. slightly pretty songs) to the mix, while still retaining the gritty post-pop-punk sound for which they're globally famous. Recorded in the band's hometown of Portland, OR by Fugazi's Brendan Canty.

Review

(it) still has that nervous, high energy, but it's a lot more focused and even, say, linear. - (Sujan Hong-Raphael) -- Venus

With artful power-pop-punk ballads, this hyper-intense trio explodes with a fury..the legitimacy of The Thermals is uncompromised. - (W.T. Wallace) -- Amplifier
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B000G1TOTG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,904 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Y. Feng on December 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In a word...yes.

The Body, the Blood, the Machine is not an album that grabs you from the get go, but once it gets its hooks into you, you'll be coming back to it over and over.

It's true, the lyrics have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but then this music isn't meant to be subtle. It's a hard rockin', do-it-yourself indie masterpiece. Listeners of Rush Limbaugh stay away, the Thermals have just dropped an a-bomb of an album.
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Format: Audio CD
I expect little from most pop/punk/indie music except the usual: boo hoo I lost my girl friend or my friend takes drugs. The Thermals third album -- while almost as flaming as the other two -- adds layers and layers of symbolism and meaning.

You really have to buy the CD or find a source for the lyrics. You know something is up when you see a picture of Jesus on the cover with clouds, machine parts, and the earth in the background. The spirit of the album is essentially the search for meaning while in a mechanistic, military, and materialist culture.

Here is the song cycle:

1. here's your future -- Addresses the essential question of what is a just god and can we trust god to do more than make us fear.

2. I might need you to kill -- Addresses the same issues as The Clash's Clampdown -- the way institutional religion and economic structures dehumanize the individual and force us to lose our humane values.

3. An ear for baby -- Is the inner fear that we all will feel when we are dictated to or controlled -- very similar feel to the opening scene of Apple's original Super Bowl ad for the McIntosh -- but without the positive resolution.

4. a pillar of salt -- musically this is my favorite song. In the Bible Lot's wife was turned to a pillar of salt for her sins. Lyrically it an incredible assault on the idea of god as separate from the human realm and the nature of sin is caused simply by our being human. You can almost feel his baby slipping away and turning to salt.

5. returning to the fold -- Is about the fear of not being "saved" and the ambiguity we all feel about our inner being and its relationship to the senses.
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Format: Audio CD
An outstanding album from the first elongated organ cord, held for a moment before the guitar starts; The guitar is given a moment by itself to breath before the drums tumble in with Hutch, as he yells `Here's your future!' Bedlam and bitter, bitter sarcasm well up together, and overflow at 1:43 with that guitar line that sounds so good it might be impossible not to pump your fist at least a few times.

And there are many other superlative tracks (really there isn't a weak song here) allowing one the freedom to choose the three of four tracks that speak most powerfully to them, out of the 7 or 8 excellent songs on the album. Power Doesn't Run on Nothing is the dark, caustic heart of the album. From when The Beat first rolls over one minute and half in, until Hutch tells us its not fair and we don't care a little over a minute later; that has to be the purest minute and a half of rock produced in a long time.

I still enjoy the first two Thermals albums, and might have enjoyed them more if there been a bigger gap before discovering this album. It feels structured, lyrically dense, and complete in a way the earlier albums can't touch. One can't help but feel that `Body, Blood and Machine' sounds exactly like the band wanted it to sound. As good a rock album as our new century has seen.
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By Z on April 30, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I discovered this album based on hearing one song from it over the credits of an episode of "Weeds" and I'm grateful that it was easy to find. Reminds me a lot of vintage Neutral Milk Hotel, and I say that as high praise.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is f*ck*ng amazing. Listen to it while driving and you will get there faster. You will also be happier and cured of disease. Fun yet political and philosophical punk rock for the thinking man.
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Format: Audio CD
Fans of "F*ckin' A" will be thrown off at first listen because it isn't as immediate. The songs don't grab you by the throat and demand your attention, and the CD contains actual song breaks. The band is maturing, and while I love the earlier stuff to death, this is a major step forward. I'd compare it to when Sleater-Kinney released "The Hot Rock," after "Call the Doctor" and "Dig Me Out" - a more subtle, nuanced album, but an outstanding one all the same.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I can't fairly review this album because I was listening to it when I was having nothing but fun six years ago. It's got a great energy, it perfectly captures a particular time when bands like Pavement and Built To Spill were seeing a critical revival and, dammit, it's just a blast!
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Format: Audio CD
It might be terribly cliche to say but this is the record that solidified my atheism and my take on humanity (if not all of life as a whole). Discovered "Pillar of Salt" on some little indie rock show when I was 16 and immediately knew what this band was saying with this record and their sound. This record was (still is) shockingly refreshing, how each track faces the ugliness, selfishness, hypocrisy, self-destruction and plain old apathy of humanity- things I'd felt (still feel) @ that age and that I will likely always feel. It may seem cliche because OF COURSE you hate everyone and everything as a teenager but for those feelings to still persist? Shows this record is timeless when it comes to a wise perspective on life. It's just an alternative rock classic and definitely worth the buy.
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