Oct 12, 2007

THOMAS FUNCTION "Relentless Machines" 7inch

The Thomas Function rolled through town last night and a good time was had by all in attendance. Being the, for the lack of a better word AND the lameness of the people around here that whine "there's nothing to do in this town" but then don't do anything when there is something to do, promoter of the show they played people would come up and ask me what I thought about them.
"I like 'em. Why else would I waste my time bringing them to town if I didn't? The question is what did YOU think of them?"
I like asking that question to the locals. Some of you reader may wonder what the hell I am thinking with some of the comparisons I make sometimes but sometimes the responses of the locals is even more perplexing. Some of the ones were obvious like the Ponys, Television and, of course the Velvets. Some guy said they reminded him alot of "the Cure. Their earlier stuff." Maybe so, I can see that I guess but his buddy INSISTED that they sounded like the B-52's.
I couldn't resist hearing one of those skewed-n-stewed PH views so I had to ask "How so?"
"Don't you hear it?!" Then he started grunting some riff. "Uh Uh Uh Umm Uh Uh." It didn't really sound like any B-52's song song I ever heard and it didn't sound like anything the band played.
"Man! How can you NOT hear it?" He then started grunting the same riff again.
I tell him that I don't think I know that one.
"Well, give a listen when you git home. You'll hear it."
I haven't listened to any B-52's since then but have given this single quite a bit of spins the past few days. It wasn't until today though that I had ever thought about the B-52's while listening to it. It's like I am trying to find WHAT made the guy think that.
Is it the vocals? Josh has a nervy yelp at times but it isn't a creepy math nerd blurt...Hmmm. Maybe he's thinking the things Kate and Cindy did? That seems too much of a reach though.
They both have some simple 3 fingered keyboard parts. The Thomas Function sound is organic and hazy. The B-52's are akin to B-movie background beeps.
Maybe it's the beat? The Thomas Function rhythm chugs and sways more than it does an antsy jitter and jump so I'm ruling that out too. It could be the bass lines. I always forget that the B-52's had a bassplayer on their more well known hit but I remember them best without one. I hope the hell the guy wasn't thinking "Love Shack" or some shit when he made the comparison. TF bassman Travis was sporting a burly mustache and Fred sported one when the B-52's were on an Saturday Night Live episode 3 decades back but that's way before they had a bass player.
Could it be the guitar parts? Maybe in a wide interpretation you could consider both band's 6 string parts mutations of 60's garage rock and surf licks but Ricky Wilson was missing a couple of strings and it was all weird dry blaaangs. There's all six being used in Thomas Function songs and it's much more wet and crystalline.I have no idea where the guy was coming from.
With that covered let me tell ya that it's been awhile since I have declared "Right now at this moment the band on stage are the greatest band in the world" but while the Thomas Function were playing I did last night.

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