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BOTW Playlist: The Thermals

When we asked our current BOTW, Portland post-pop-punk trio The Thermals, to put together a playlist of the tracks that inspired their latest LP, Desperate Ground, we knew exactly what we were letting ourselves in for. The 13 tracks compiled below make for a furious, raucous listen; one that’s perfectly suited if you’re in need of some serious pre-weekend venting, or if you just have a lot of energy to use up. Running the gamut from ‘The 15th‘, a key cut from Wire‘s icier, darker third record, 154, through to the So-Cal skate punk of the Descendents and the Adolescents, read on for the thoughts of Thermals frontman Hutch Harris on each track and prepare yourself for a bumpy ride.

1. Agent Orange – ‘Everything Turns Gray’
“Agent Orange is the #1 inspiration for Desperate Ground. This whole record (Living In Darkness) is perfect.”

2. Ramones – ‘Havana Affair’
“Loud, catchy, and clever. Probably the only punk band that will be remembered in 100 years.”

3. X – ‘We’re Desperate’
“An obvious choice. We’re desperate: Get used to it.”

4. Minor Threat – ‘Out of Step’
“Nothing’s better than getting shit-faced while listening to SXE records.”

5. Misfits – ‘Astro Zombies’
“Totally catchy and incredibly scary. This song is exactly what we aspire to be.”

6. Adolescents – ‘Kids of the Black Hole’
“Straightforward and arty at the same time. Another So-Cal classic.”

7. Bad Religion – ‘No Control’
“From the album of the same name: Tight, smart and powerful.”

8. Descendents – ‘Bikeage’
“Snotty, and yet so sincere. This song makes me laugh and cry simultaneously.”

9. OFF! – ‘I Don’t Belong’
“You really don’t.”

10. Wire – ‘The 15th’
“Wire invents alt-rock with one song.”

11. Propaghandi – ‘Who Will Help Me Bake This Bread?’
“No one; because you’re alone in this entirely-fucked world.”

12. Black Flag – ‘Nervous Breakdown’
“As relevant today as it was 30(!) years ago. We LOVE Keith Morris.”

13. The Adicts – ‘My Baby Got Run Over By a Steamroller’
“An amazing band, sorely underrated. This is the best song title of all-time.”

- Alex Cull

The Thermals’ Desperate Ground is available now on Saddle Creek. You can order it here.

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