Day 273: Hutch and Kathy – Hutch and Kathy

28 Nov

In Brilliance

The Thermals minus an electric guitar shouldn’t be good.  Their special brand of angry pop punk is centered on Hutch Harris’ oft-disgruntled and frustrated vocals, which in turn receive an extra punch from the band’s riff generator, his electric guitar.  That’s why it’s so surprising that Hutch and Kathy, (the name of one of many pre-Thermals projects), works so well. Hutch Harris is on lead vocals/acoustic guitar and Kathy Foster helps out with supporting vocals and…I’m not entirely sure what else. She plays bass in The Thermals, but this record doesn’t really have space for her to lay down any grooves.

With a voice as distinctive (and nasally) as Harris’, it’s hard not to compare this band to what it would eventually turn into.  Even though the two separate projects’ respective genres—punk and folk—don’t have all that much in common, there are plenty of similarities between The Thermals and H+K.  Harris has a unique approach to songwriting, sticking to short, emotionally (or politically) charged phrases, and loose rhyme structures.  Although acoustic, his guitar playing is the same here as it would prove to be with The Thermals—simple, repetitive, effective.

Originally recorded in the late ’90s, this self-titled LP was remastered and rereleased by Sub Pop in 2007, in what looks like an attempt to capitalize on 2006’s The Body, The Blood, The Machine (The Thermals’ most well-received record to date).  Fans looking for more power and anger in the vein of that album would have been disappointed, but those pleased by short, simple songs about love and whatnot (that can still be found in The Thermals’ music) definitely lucked out.

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2 Responses to “Day 273: Hutch and Kathy – Hutch and Kathy”

  1. Dave Chops November 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Eagerly awaiting the spin-off band, Starsky and Binki.

  2. Yuanny Dollar December 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Damn. I was trying to come up with a Starsky and Hutch joke and you beat me to it. Chops 1, Dollar 0. Maybe Huggy Bear can do some guest vocals.

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