Now this is obscure.
I bought this on a $1 whim because it was on an obscure label from the
I expected faux
And largely that’s what I got.
Thumbs were a rock band from the late 70s and early 80s from
For those not in the know
I have no knowledge of who Thumbs were and googling provided very little other information. It seems that they were popular on the local music scene and singer (and co-songwriter) Steve Wilson, a Lawrence native, became a Freelance music writer and manager of Kief’s Downtown Music record store, which I gather is a local institution in Lawrence.
Though forgotten now, this the first album, was a minor “success” when it came out. Greil Marcus reviewed it as did the NME in
I believe they put out a follow up album to this 1979 release.
In a recent interview with
There were many bands who disingenuously jumped on the powerpop / rock n roll / new wave band wagon when it became fashionable. Thumbs, I suspect, were populated by people already into the music who got swept up in the craze
The album was released on Ramona Records which it seems was a large indie label in
Tracks (best in italics)
- Sweet & Mild – nice power pop but the drums aren’t miked or mixed properly. Very close to what you would hear live. They produced the album themselves – probably a mistake. A good song otherwise.
- In the Family – some Dylanesque phrasing though the tune and the music are distinctly non Dylan
- Is it asking too Much? – A touch of Springsteen circa “Greetings from
” Asbury Park
- 4th of July – Graham Parker does
- Still Bound to You – the obligatory power pop love ballad, errrr, if that’s not a contradiction in terms.
- Inch or Two – Flamin Groovies ( Roy Loney era) … I love the Groovies.
- Straight to the Heart – filler
- Frame of Mind – filler – maybe they are running out of ideas. Some squealy squealy guitar solos, albeit very brief, creeping in.
- Moonlight – filler
- Rags to Rags – so so.
- Art History – good song, nice keyboards and a vocal slightly reminiscent of Richard Hell.
The band wear their hearts and influences on their sleeves. The sound is both a little clunky and a little thin….but there is a charm in there which may appeal to anyone who went to see small indie live bands in the early to mid 80s.
Given the obscurity of this release and the fact that there has been no subsequent “cult” around the band only God knows how this album ended up in
Ultimately I’m not sure if I will keep it. I may. I will tape a few songs. If I do get rid of it who knows where it will end up next.
Nothing no where
The bass player:
- Steve Wilson is in a current band called The Mahoots. http://www.facebook.com/TheMahoots?sk=wall&filter=2
- He also manages a music store: http://www.downtown.kiefs.com
Happy Birthday EP.