The Portland trio may have left their stamina behind on album number five, but Hutch Harris' presence is still powerful enough to propel them

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Album Review: The Thermals - Personal Life (Kill Rock Stars)

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Album Review: The Thermals – Personal Life (Kill Rock Stars)

What made early [a]The Thermals[/a] records such good fun was the way the Portland trio hurtled through their songs, racing themselves to the finish as if the studio floor was littered with hot coals. Where the intervening years have tempered that haste, this fifth album offers compensation in the form of their sharpest, most precise set to date. [b]Hutch Harris[/b]’ unmistakable, commanding voice remains the centrifugal force within this ‘[b]Personal Life[/b]’, tempting us from the get-go with promises like “[i]I’m gonna change your life/I’m gonna leave my mark[/i]” that suggest getting intimate with the buggers might be tricky to resist.

[b]Tom Edwards[/b]