THUMBS, THE: Last Match: CD

Bands like the Thumbs are the reason why I should never start a record label. I’d hear their music, get all excited about signing them, help them put out an album that’s incredible, then scratch my head, baffled by why the Thumbs wallow in obscurity while bands with half their talent, passion, and drive become huge. So here’s another Thumbs album. It’s fucking great. The songs have the ability to build and create tension and diffuse tension and explode in two minutes. Then, you add the vocals, which alternate between the guitarist and the bassist, who both sound like a bulldog – short and compact and powerful and ugly as hell in an attractive way. On top of that are fairly abstract but intelligent lyrics that justify the out-of-key screaming. So now I’m curious. The first Thumbs album didn’t bring them fame. Maybe because it was on a tiny label and, though the songs are great, the recording of them isn’t. The second Thumbs album didn’t see them selling out shows, even though it was on a bigger label (Soda Jerk) and the recording sounds pretty damn good and the songs are even better. And now they’re on Adeline, Billy Joe from Green Day’s label. Ads for this album are popping up everywhere, and it’s their best release yet. What will become of the Thumbs? Because it’s not that I want them to be so big that I have to drive to Hollywood to see them play. I don’t. I’m just hoping the years of steady touring pay off for them at least to the point where they can justify staying together as a band and keep putting out albums like this one.

 –sean (Adeline)