[sic] Magazine

Thomas Function – Celebration

It’s about 2 years since I came across Thomas Function (a band, not a person) and I’ve been picking up their singles on various little US labels ever since. I’m very late writing about this album but at least with [sic] I now have a forum worthy of “the best new band in America” as I was already calling them a year ago. This album comes from Alive Records – the home of many vibrant and charming releases recently and a definite trade-mark of quality. The home of “American music”, as opposed to Americana. The sort of music made by kids that hark back to The British Invasion and the Dinosaur Seventies with the exuberance of Youth and without the jaded muso tarnish. They have Two Gallants and Black Keys so they hit the mark.

Thomas Function take bubblegum pop and filter it through Punk smarts coming out with some of the most exciting Indie Pop to be had. If Tom Verlaine was fronting ? & The Mysterions it might sound like the sonics that TF have conjured up. Nothing is contrived but neither is it dumb. ‘Filthy Flowers’ kicks off like a cousin of The Stones’ ‘The Last Time’ and even the title is the perfect marriage of Hippy and Punk. This was a single, is great – but probably won’t surprise. ‘Can’t Say No’ is a little more Pop but in the 60s style – a little like the Rubinoos, look them up. In fact that idea is valid – Thomas Function sound like they would have fit into the roster of bands on the Beserkly label in the late 70s (Rubinoos/Greg Kihn/Jonathan Richman/Tyla Gang).

Any track here is good but cumulatively it’s excellent – the hits just keep on coming. By 4th track ‘Conspiracy Of Praise’ they really sound like their own men, this is a work of fire, pop thrill and consistency. ‘2012 Blues’ seems like the blues song the house band for an apocalyptic cult might come up with, genuinely tinged with paranoia, while resigned to The End Of Days. ‘Relentless Machines’ could be early Talking Heads trying Road To Nowhere ie joyous. Side 2 has a little more cohesion and sounds like they were on a roll, whereas side 1 is a collection of more disparate but equally appealing moods. ‘Lights Down Low’ is nearest to Big Star but I get the feeling they may be a touch stone for Thomas Function. Personally I think BS are rather over rated so I would suggest Thomas Function have a lot more exuberance, less jaded weariness. ‘A Long Walk’ starts careering like The Skids with slightly desperate sounding vocals then it’s into ‘Peanut Butter & Paranoia Jam’ to end. Which is, well, a jam. I’d give it 9 were it not for the fact I think they will better it and I want somewhere to go when reviewing their next album.

Listen & Learn

For more from Indie Dad please visit i blame the parents records