Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

THOMAS FUNCTION - I Learned To Scream Before I Could Talk: Americas Greatest Band Makes A Record

Celebration! Perhaps its your birthday, perhaps your mother’s funeral, maybe its Sunday and the flea market will be brimming with new sights and sounds and smells to soak into your skin. Whatever the occasion, uncork a four bit mickey and put on your dancing shoes, were on a mission from God to celebrate and by the looks this album the party’s already started and your late.
From the swelling warble that opens “Filthy Flowers” to the funeral march that closes “Earthworms”, Thomas Function slashes and burns with a frontal lobe numbing intensity hard to come by in these dark days. The songs hiss and moan like dying machinery yet all the while wallow in a sugary sweet concoction of nostalgic melodies and lyrics that nearly hit too close to home. The vocals are achingly raw, often bursting into an organically overdriven false-setto. Its as if his vocal cords seemed to have been cut out and removed in some back alley surgery only to be skillet fried in sizzling grease and haphazardly returned to their rightful owner. The band follows suit with brooding, rumbling drums and golden splashes of tambourine keeping time like a clockwork grey, stick-to-your-ribs bass lines that reek of gasoline and the organ providing shimmering tones of optimism that dance around the rhythm like specks of blood on the walls of a grizzly murder scene. The melodies weave their way into your brain’s neurons, gripping fist tight onto your memory, bringing back flashes of heartache that leave you with hunger pangs for hard liquor and razor blades. The hits roll track after track from “I Can’t Say No” with its sing-along pop qualities to “Relentless Machine’s” stream-of-conscienceness ramblings of grief and self-pity. The intensity of “ Lights Down Low” stands at a crossroads of black and white, love and hate, despair and hope. The wave of goose bumps that will surely swell up on your skin are akin to the kind you receive in the moments before your death, whether it be among the smoking and mangled remains of a car, swinging at the end of weighted rope in your closet, or in a fetal position on the floor of your nursing home from a grease-clogged aorta. Its that last shimmer of sunlight beaming into your glistening eye, the final moment when pessimism and hope swirl in a psychedelic array of sight and sound. These songs find their way in and don’t leave, always remaining fresh and never rusting into blandness. They are the soundtrack to my twenty-first year on Earth.

Andy Myers
Andy Dale Petty
Andrew Rodney Bryant
Andrew Blake
Ray Ray Johnson
El Bajo Sexto

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