Portland Punk Trio The Thermals Break-Up

Local Music, News
Dusty Henry
Photo by Brittney Bollay

In a Facebook post this morning, Portland punk trio The Thermals announced that they’re breaking up after 15 years together. In their statement, the band says, “we feel our band has reached far beyond our initial expectations and goals, and are stepping away from it while we still cherish it.” They add, “We traveled further, soared higher and played louder than we ever dreamed, and we now look forward to a new chapter in our lives, our art, and our friendship.”

Across seven LPs and a plethora of EPs and singles, the group back something of an institution in the Pacific Northwest. The band was birthed out of guitarist Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster’s previous folk project appropriately named Hutch & Kathy. The band’s 2003 debut LP on Sub Pop, More Parts Per Million, was written and performed entirely by Harris with their original lineup debuting soon after with Foster on bass and drummer Jordan Hudson on drums and Ben Barnett on guitar. The song "No Culture Icons" would later inspire the name for Sub Pop's affiliate label Hardly Art with its opening line, "Hardly art, hardly starving/Hardly art, hardly garbage." Hudson would leave after the recording of their second album Fuckin A and Barnett would leave after the band’s politically charged, landmark third LP, The Body, The Blood, and The Machine. Westin Glass would take over drums afterward and would stay on the throne throughout the rest of the band’s tenure while the band would jump between labels Kill Rock Stars and Saddle Creek Records. Their final album was 2016’s We Disappear.

Revisit some of The Thermals in-studio performances, music videos, and articles by KEXP from over the years. Oh and to throw salt in the wound, here's a sappy quote from one of their most moving songs on The Body, The Blood, and The Machine.

And I believe, I believe
If you leave, if you leave
I would cry, I would cry
I would cry, I would cry

“Test Pattern,” The Thermals. 2002-2018

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