On Monday, Portland punk-rock staples The Thermals announced that they were officially disbanding after 15 years together. It’s never fun to hear that a band you love has ceased to exist, but after seven albums released over the course of more than a decade, the decision to exit now rather than force themselves to stay together makes sense. Formed in 2002 in the aftermath of a deeply controversial presidential election, The Thermals were always imbued with a sense of dissatisfaction and anger that hearkens back to some of punk’s earliest roots. In many ways, they revived a genre that had begun to feel stale, and they’ve left a massive imprint on punk music that’s unlikely to be forgotten. I myself remember long, scorching summers in Missouri listening to songs like “Pillar of Salt” and “Now We can See” on the radio, and while I certainly didn’t understand the politics behind the songs at the time, they’ve never stopped being some of my all-time favorites. Whether you’re just looking for some good summer tunes or if you’re searching for something to distract you from a different controversial president, The Thermals will always have you covered.
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