On Desperate Ground, the Thermals do what they do best. They stay lean and mean, while churning out ten very to the point songs (the longest which clocks out at 3:13). Like the Ramones before them, on Desperate Ground, they don’t mess with the recipe. They deliver the goods with intense brevity. The whole album flows by beautifully in a whirlwind 26 minutes and 23 seconds. Each track is well-crafted, fast and driving punk rock, ringing with the self-righteousness and low-fi charm that defines the Thermals’ sound. Desperate Ground stands comfortably when compared with other Thermals’ masterpieces such as The Body, The Blood, The Machine and Now We Can See. There is not a dud song on this album. Two tunes that kick a little extra ass are “You Will Find Me” and “Faces Stay With Me”. Also, the closer, “Our Love Survives” stands out as well. In addition to be an excellent song, it’s message of love triumphing over evil and adversity might resonate strongly with those who suffered while witnessing the horror that occurred at the Boston Marathon. Even though the record came out the day after the attack and the song was clearly written before Monday’s tragedy, it coincidentally has some parallels (admittedly not a perfect match) to the eulogy given by President Obama at the victims’ funeral. All in all, the Thermals have made a consistently strong record that won’t disappoint their fans.
Essential tracks: “You Will Find Me”, “Faces Stay With Me” and “Our Love Survives”.