Both political and pogo-friendly, riotously riffing pop-punk trio the Thermals have always been comfortable squeezing big ideas into short and spiky songs. That trend continues in earnest on the Portland band's sixth album, Desperate Ground. Frontman Hutch Harris's impassioned yelp is in fine form throughout, simultaneously chronicling mankind's self-destructive urges ("Born to Kill") and spiritedly spearheading calls for continued resilience on "Our Love Survives." Working straight from the Buzzcocks' three-chords-and-the-truth playbook, the Thermals provide stirring proof that punk rock doesn't have to revamp its sound to stay relevant. With Strange Relations. 18+.
Tue., May 14, 8 p.m., 2013