The Thingz


The Thingz Green Incursion cassette

Wait a second, is that an organ? Kind of? Not really sure, as there is both a keyboard and a theremin. In any event, the combination creates a very ’60s feel to this rock’n’roll record. Take the B52’S and DEVO, then go heavy with the ’60s. Real heavy. These guys know exactly what they’re doing and they do it really well, but there’s a levity that makes you think they maybe don’t take themselves too seriously. Nothing wrong with that. It’s only rock’n’roll, man. The organ/keyboard/theremin combo gives it a garage feel, and the catchiness is contagious. It’s also got an eeriness, but in a fun way, not a scary way. Male/female vocals are always a hit with me and these seem almost purposefully quirky. It all comes together really nicely.

The Thingz In the Age of Giant Moths LP

Maybe it’s me. Maybe looking for something fresh in the crowded space of garage bands is a fool’s errand, and I should just get over myself and try to have fun. But we’ve been at this stuff for decades now: the Tiki kitsch, the organ without any bite, the fuzzy but compressed-to-all-hell guitar. On their ninth LP (and yes that is impressive), this band presents something squeaky clean and calls it trash. It just doesn’t sell for me. Bands were obsessed with all these same things in the ’90s, cryptids and aliens and cocktail lounge decor. I’m sure this Long Beach act has a blast doing this after all these years, but for me it’s just another band harkening back to some made up alternate history of American rock’n’roll and doing nothing novel to tweak the formula.

The Thingz Just in Time LP

This is one part dollar store Halloween, one part baseball organ music, and all parts tongue-in-cheek jaunty tunes. Their songs have a hip-shaking bounce to them, matched with fuzzy guitars and that silly organ! I wouldn’t call it watered-down CRAMPS, but like maybe CRAMPS for kids. It’s got an immaturity to it that’s just a lot of fun; case in point: “Wake Up With Claws.” And thankfully it’s not a song about the stupid alcoholic seltzer. All these songs were put together in the quarantine that we are still in, yet nothing sounds rushed. It’s a quality recording of upbeat, light-hearted tracks with a wee bit of spookiness to them. And the theramin on “Be A Rat” fucking rules! That’s one song where the keys don’t feel surprising to me. “Lunar Love” is going for that ’50s rock’n’roll sound and it sounds so cheery. It’s obvious these guys are having a super fun time on this record and I think it’s contagious. I’m having a hard time being in a bummer mood listening to this.