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The Thermals Sign to Kill Rock Stars

I got the press release that the Ther­mals signed to Kill Rock Stars just as I got home from the office. I think it’s great that they were able to stay on a clas­sic North­west label, but it seemed more strange that they would­n’t re-up with Sub Pop.

Coin­ci­den­tal­ly, Swedes Loney, Dear — a band signed in the post-“Young Folks” hys­te­ria — recent­ly depart­ed Sub Pop as well. Not to get too pulpy, but is there more to this than meets the eye? Loney, Dear were poor­ly reviewed and their Sub Pop debut, Loney, Noir, was a stinker. But the Ther­mals seemed to be the sort of act that Beg­gars Group would’ve poached in a heart­beat just a few years ago.

I’ll stop beat­ing around the bush: I’m shocked that a band like the Ther­mals would end up on such a tiny label at this point in their devel­op­ment. I know the music indus­try is bad, but labels like XL are still sign­ing bands and reis­su­ing albums a year after every­one in the blo­gos­phere down­loaded them. But that’s just busi­ness.

Think of it anoth­er way: if Deer­hoof — a band that crit­ics once show­ered with praise — does­n’t gen­er­ate heat a month after drop­ping their new album, Offend Mag­gie (7.6, no less), can they work a band that may have out­lived its hype cycle? At this point in his­to­ry, it does­n’t even seem to mat­ter if a band is hit­ting its stride. Every­thing is yes­ter­day’s papers the moment it leaks.

Don’t believe me? Read this pul­lquote in the Pitch­fork news piece from this after­noon and tell me it did­n’t make you wince.