Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thulium – 69 EP
Damn it, I hate it when this happens!
Ok, here’s the truth. I know music is going digital, but here at the Ripple office, we get so many cool CD and vinyl submissions that the digital promos tend to . . .er . . . wallow on my hard drive for some indeterminate amount of time before I get around to playing them. Sorry, that’s just the facts. In the car, I play CD’s. In my office I play vinyl. I play digital . . . when?
Then something like this happens and I get all flustered. See I just pulled up and hit the play button on this 3-song EP by UK band, Thulium. I don’t have the slightest idea how long this set has been languishing amongst the 1’s and 0’s of my desktop. A month? Six? 97?
What I do know is that I’ve been depriving myself of some killer music. A hard band to classify, Thulium do it all on these three songs and do it with major aplomb! “Running” kicks this affair off with major adrenaline. Copping a riff sequence that reminds immediately of the Sex Pistols, the boys drop into a monter TSOL/New Model Army type of gritty, poppy, guitar post punk madness. Damn it! This song smacks me upside the head and calls me Suzie! Love the gruff voice, the bellowing bass line, those crunchy guitar chords. Why haven’t I been listening to this for years?
Recently, (and often) I’d hailed the chops of Portland’s The Estranged, one of my favorite post-post punk, punk bands. Let’s add Thulium to that list now. Aggressive alternative? Post punk metal? I don't know what to call it. Just play it..
But the boys prove right away that they’re no one song ponies. “Craving” keeps the intensity at full throttle with their post-punk meltdown of jangling guitars, street gutter chords, step-infected vocals, and killer chops. Just like “Running”, “Craving” wraps all this aggression into some mighty tight, hook-laden pop smarts. Another pure winner.
The boys, who hail from France, England, Canada, and Hungary, cite bands like Audioslave, Nickleback, and Foo Fighters as influences, and I suppose so, but I hear so much more and less than that in their sound. More, in the terms of aggression and punk attitude, less in terms of commercial bowing to the mainstream. And certainly (thank God) no Nickleback. This is pure, spittle rock and roll.
The EP ends with the piano and acoustic guitar driven “90 Days of Sorrow,” a beautiful downer of a ballad. It serves to showcase the band’s scope and talent, even if it ends the EP in stark contrast to the blitzkrieg of the opening songs.
Personally, I can’t wait to hear more from these guys. If this EP is a true testament to their talents, a full-length Thulium album will be eagerly anticipated around the Ripple office.
And it won’t sit on my computer for months.