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Thingy



The overriding quality of Thingy's music is the melody: beautiful, complicated, thoughtful melodies that float just above the surface of music that is sometimes sedate and sometimes seething. On To The Innocent, the voices of Rob Crow (Heavy Vegetable, Physics, and Optiganally Yours) and Elea Tenuta (Heavy Vegetable) join and soar in beautiful harmony over the crashing rhythms of Mario Rubalcaba (Clikatat Ikatowi) and Jason Soares (Physics). Crow often cloaks dark sentiments in sunny timbres, mixing depressing images with enough good humor to keep them from feeling clumsily confessional. "Ketchup Sandwich" opens, "Sold all of my CDs and I/Still can't find any work and/I've been living on Top Ramen and popcorn/for so long I can't feel my tongue anymore," before spreading into an anthemic ode to stagnant frustration.

The two featured tracks from To the Innocent, "Mayday" and "Plenty," both highlight Thingy at their complex, pounding best. But for every raging, polyrhythmic math rock anthem, there is a tender, stripped-down acoustic ballad. Never fear: Crow doesn't write simple, sappy love songs. In "Big Dumb Animal," one of the sweetest songs on the record, he croons "I'm an imbecile/I'm a big dumb animal/Put my fingers in the fan." There are 19 songs packed onto this album, which clocks in at around 30 minutes, and it's amazing how much action and flow is squeezed into each one of them.

To The Innocent is Thingy's third record. They also have released an acoustic EP (1996's Staring Contest) and an awesome-but-overlooked full-length (1997's Songs About Angels, Evil, and Running Around on Fire) on Cargo Records. "Revolution in a Box" gives a brief, brilliant glimpse of that record's frenetic genius. The band has had some lineup changes since To The Innocent's release: after Rubalcaba moved to Chicago, Sterling Silver's Brent Asbury replaced him on drums, and fellow Physics member Cameron Jones replaced Soares on bass. The combination is still playful, powerful, and irresistible.