Sunday, March 9, 2014
Thumbs No Price On Earth Ramona Music Inc 1982
Of the two Thumbs' LP, this is the better one. Overall, the band still sounds lean, off balanced, and awkward. However, the songs are bit more polished and Steve Wilson calmed down his manic vocal style. The artiness and Velvet worship really shine through on this one too; in a good way. It sounds more 1978 than it does 1982, probably because they were soaking up the college scene. Locals like the Embarrassment, likely Athens based groups like REM, had shown the Thumbs how to embrace their off kilter influence into shambolic power pop tunes.
Whereas the homespun recording of their first LP almost destroys anything good about the band, No Price on Earth, is actually bettered by the Lo-Fi recording. The song "Jennie Says" sounds like it should be your standard MOR skinny tie affair, but with the production gives it a twee sound and feel, like a teen band from the 60's. Most of the album falls into this wanna-be raver, teen stompers, with just enough teeth to get to the power part of power pop and enough references about girls to keep them out of any sort of punk realm.
The band tries to get ultra-arty on the tune, "I'm The Jesus," using a bunch of Jesus tag-lines to sound witty and smart, it's a low point of the LP. But, the high points like "The Coast is Clear," Out of His Mind," "It Won't Satisfy" and the surprisingly pretty, "The Payload," make the LP worth searching out for a couple of bucks.
Thumbs do the Velvets