The Thermals debut LP, "More Parts Per Million", was conceived and recorded in the kitchenette of Harris's old house, a "love shack" of sorts, referred to as The Moss Motel, in Southeast Portland. The album was recorded on a 4-track cassette machine, with total recording costs around $10, no shit! "MPPM" was then mixed by Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla at The Hall Of Justice in Seattle, Washington. A blistering slice of no-fi, "MPPM" was dubbed everything from "un-listenable" to "very fucking listenable".
The Thermals returned to Seattle for their second LP, "Fuckin' A". They re-teamed with Walla, who manned all recording and mixing duties this time around, at Seattle's famed Avast studio. With a sound more in the mid- to some-fi area, "Fuckin' A" achieved the main goal The Thermals had in mind while creating it, which was to receive a parental warning sticker.
For their third and latest LP, "The Body, The Blood, The Machine", The Thermals hired Brendan Canty of Fugazi to produce their record. It was recorded at Supernatural Sound in Oregon City. With a wider and brighter sound than their first two LP's, The Thermals cemented their position as the true leaders of the pot-pop-punk (non-)movement. The album tells the story of a young couple who must flee a United States governed by fascist faux-Christians. "TBTBTM" has been critically applauded and was featured in many Best-Of-2006 lists, including Pitchfork, Spin, NPR, and The Onion's A.V. Club.
The Thermals recently received much attention for refusing $50,000 to license a song to General Motors for use in a Hummer commercial. They received an enormous amount of positive feedback for something they did not do. The Thermals would like you to know that they also have not killed anyone, nor have they committed any fraud or treason, in case you would like to congratulate them for that has well.
The Thermals have toured the U.S. and Europe countless times, headlining as well as opening for Death Cab For Cutie, The Shins, Modest Mouse, The Buzzcocks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hold Steady, The Walkmen, Hot Hot Heat, Mates Of State, Mike Watt And The Secondmen, Quasi, and Sleater Kinney. Shows of note include Sleater Kinney's final two performances at The Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon.
The Thermals are probably most famous for their contributions to three-chord punk. Their crowning achievement came in fall of 2005, when they discovered a fourth chord. They are currently working on a 4th LP, ostensibly titled "Politics Is Boring", and are still looking forward to fully leaving behind the world of d.i.y. (do it yourself) for a more s.e.d.i.f.y. (somebody else does it for you) lifestyle.The Thermals are: