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MP3 Thumb - Strange Kept Plain

Great bottom ended melodic guitar rock that recalls a sort of cross between Fu Manchu & the more melodic moments from Soundgarden, at other times, moving into a sweet edged softer sound with exceptional vocals.

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: 90''s Rock, ROCK: Classic Rock

New Review from https://www.tradebit.com::Thumb rocked up next and I was really looking forward to seeing them play live. The two brothers Andrew and Brendan Ewing have incredible voices and it was an experience to watch them on guitar. Drummer Charles Chase was in the zone and the three piece rocked hard through some slow retro hurting ("stick two fingers in my mouth / and help me force the pain out"). The places these guys go aren''t necessarily always new places, they have strong roots in some heavy metal originations and they know it. But they have strong voices and when they play you can see
that they''re putting a hell of a lot of physical and emotional effort into their music. The Thumb spot was a powerful live performance.

Who are your major influences?

Dr Teeth & the Electric Mayhem, AC/DC, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Budgie, John Coltrane, Cream, Miles Davis, Deep Purple, Faith No More, Genesis, Grand Funk Railroad, PJ Harvey, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Maiden, King Crimson, Kyuss, Led Zeppelin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Metallica, Charles Mingus, Mr Bungle, Jaco Pastorius, Pearl Jam, Primus, Queen, Soundgarden, Thin Lizzy, Tom Waits, The Who, Yes, Neil Young, Frank Zappa from a list of many more

How did the band form?

Brother''s Andrew & Brendan Ewing moved to Perth from Hong Kong in 1993. Having previously played together in various high school bands, both were keen to get a new band together in Western Australia. After a few months of tinkering around with song writing and compiling two demos under the name of Habit, they placed an ad in local music paper Xpress. It read "Experienced drummer required - influences from The Beatles to Black Sabbath". After a few calls that led no where they received the call from Charles Chase. Ironically enough the first band Andrew & Brendan saw live in Perth was Charles'' then band the Spicy Baby Tomatoes. Recently defunct, Charles was keen to join a new band and was particularly drawn to the ''Black Sabbath'' bit of the influences. Jamming commence in late 1993 with the first gig in February of 1994.

Describe your song writing process?

Songs almost always begin with a tune from Brendan or Andrew. Where they come from is anyone''s guess! Sometimes this is just a riff, a chord progression or sometimes a whole song ready to go. However no matter what state the first draft of a song is in there is always room for metamorphosis once the tune arrives into the practice room and is taken up by the rest of the band. Some songs are written from scratch in the rehearsal room as well. Lyrically the words usually come from whoever had the genesis idea but again not always the case. The lyrics are a fairly even 50% split between the two brothers who also occasionally co-write lyrics. There are also two songs in the Thumb catalogue penned by drummer Charles Chase.

What direction are you headed in musically?

Prior to Thumb the music Andrew & Brendan were coming up with was not quite as heavy as it turned when Charles joined. Chase was keen to exploit the heavy side of things and the Ewing''s happily followed suit. So in the early days the band was quite easily labelled as Heavy Metal. However over the years, as all have come to know each other better and become more relaxed and confident in the ability to explore musically, the sound of Thumb has experienced an on going change. The new record currently being recorded is the latest testament to that direction and whilst not abandoning the heavier side, it has become more rock than metal, perhaps. Also the band has recorded a few acoustic guitar based songs, exploring tone and melody in new ways for themselves. And the future? Well with a current listening diet of Burt Bacharach, Buena Vista Social Club & Billy Cobham records it''s anyone''s guess!

Does your live show deviate from your studio recordings?

We mix live shows up with old and new stuff, both recorded and not. Some songs are personal favourites that have never been ''right'' to record but that live on via the stage. Songs that are on CD are for the most part played quite faithful to the recording. However sometimes they under go arrangement changes to inject something new into them, or occasionally we find that the new arrangement makes the song better! With Nitros City we explored with a lot of over dubbing that led to a full sounding and sonically perplexing record but live some songs would obviously lack the extra elements. With our new recording we have gone for very live takes. Not so much as a kind of reaction to heavy production as we are still all enamoured with the textures of Beach Boys records or Sgt Peppers era Beatles, but to reclaim the spontaneity that early albums of some of our favourite 60''s & 70''s bands had.

Comment on each member''s strengths and what they bring to the big picture.

Charles brings rhythm and swing which may be obvious choices for a drummer but not all drummers actually invest that into the music they play. Charles always does. He also pushes for the music to take unexpected turns, always on the look out for ways to make a song sound less familiar. Hence the absence of any straight 4/4 beats in the Thumb repertoire! He is also our most spiritual member and encourager of group meditations before live performance.
Brendan writes great songs, has a killer voice and plays the bass because he loves too and it sounds that way. Multi talented he has also contributed guitar tracks and keyboards to a lot of our recorded work. On occasion he contributes his artwork to the visual presentation of the band, designing flyers & posters, as well as appearing in X-ray on the cover of one of our singles!
Andrew plays guitar, sings, writes and takes care of the business side of things. As I am writing this, the question is hard to answer in any detail with out feeling a bit odd. I hope to bring the best of all my abilities to the band and find avenues for us to keep doing what we love to do: playing live and making records.
strange kept plain

This Australian-based was totally unknown for me, until I received their promo package that includes their second self-released album from 2001 after "Nitros City", which has been released back in 1998. The album starts with the Led Zeppelin-oriented "Feeling All Right", but than the album turns into a total other direction. Someone has written that THUMB reminds him of a sort of cross between Fu Manchu and the more melodic moments of Soundgarden, but I can''t agree with it. They aren''t so heavy and the song structures are more complex with a lot of breaks. It''s not easy to describe single songs. There are folk and jazz elements in the diverse tracks and the band uses different dynamics. In some of the tracks they have acoustic guitars in opposite to heavier songs like "Behringer" or the https://www.tradebit.comy are very melodic, but not in a cheesy way. If I should compare THUMB with other bands I would mention SST-acts like Firehose or Minutemen, but that doesn''t describes it exactly. There''s also a small Tool vibe in"On the Side", mixed up with early 90''s Seattle Rock. "Heaven in You" could appeal to QOTSA fans and like I''ve said it before, this album isn''t easy to categorize. Of course, it is Rock but not only focused on the rock''n''roll side. They''ve managed it to integrate a lot of different musical styles in their sound, and the result is this passionate and intimate https://www.tradebit.com''s gives you the right soundtrack for a rainy afternoon, sitting at home and thinking about life. I really like it and if you need a break from all your heavy rockin'' records, than check out
Klaus Kleinowski https://www.tradebit.com

Nice CD. No, wait, great CD. This album is a nice, smooth trip through various moods, multi-coloured fluids take you to warm, safe places, and then drive you through exciting and dark clouds. This is the best definition I can give when talking about Thumb, a band that can produce original songs, sometime groovy, bluesy and pretty heavy, and sometime melodic and quite, or even dark, anyway always rythmically luxurious! I think this band reaches high levels, and you should give them a real chance, they deserve this! I really can''t tell you, as I often do, which known band they may be influenced by... I just know they play rock, sometimes hard groovy rock... and in the same way, often they''re more quiet, and sometime even acoustic, with wonderful touches of psychedelic feelings all over the tracks.
Always, the vocals fit perfectly in the music, and the music is inspired and very well recorded, this is very good stuff, man! What a great surprise! Ratings: Groove: 5/5 Psychedelia: 4/5 Heavyness: 3/5 Originality: 5/5 Overall Rating: 5/5
Alex https://www.tradebit.com

Thumb are a group from Australia who have added a 2nd album after the last NITRO CITY, which was reviewed by ''Gardenia'' at the time of its release. On this new album, STRANGE KEPT PLAIN, their sound is better focused, the group is more cohesive and they simply sound better. Their genre of music is difficult to describe, and the group possess a great variety of styles (similar to Motorpsycho in this respect) - some could be pigeon holed as part of the grunge revival, although the guitar is more psychedelic and song like than what you''d expect in that genre - anyway - theirs is a genre pretty much undefinable. "Feeling Alright" has a lightly acidic atmosphere over a hard rock rhythm whilst "Temptation" is a song based on an ascending bassline and melodic guitar riff which is electrified in the chorus, all characterised by a fantastic vocal line. "Meaningless Affair" is a beautiful slow song with a progressive structure, a very original riff and marvellous singing by Andrew Ewing, who has a calm central melodicrole. "Kissing the Toad" is another unclassifiable hard rock number, characterised by a splendid dark atmosphere, and like in "Heaven In You" - intense, with a great structure created by a acid-distorted guitar creating a saturated atmosphere. "Keep It Simple'' and "Dark Blue" are 2 fantastic ballads. If you love "alternative" sounds, and for you rock has no boundaries of genre, then Thumb is right up your alley.
Andrea Gasparini Gardenia Fanzine

Thumb, Australia''s guitar-purists are back with their second album and people I can tell you, this rocks and fascinates in one. 13 songs are on that masterpiece of these three guys, Thumb combine old masters like Soundgarden and Mudhoney with classic stuff like the old Eric Clapton and shake that all to a mixture, which is really interesting and hit-suspicious. More than ninety percent of these songs could be a single and this is rarely for a groups second album, because I thought after their first strike (Nitros City), it''s really hard to top that all, but I must say, they did it with that release, damn. I think Thumb put all the experience of over seven years in that CD and you can hear it. If you wanna hear something which is different, but still in the heavy corner of Rock, then this album should be your choice. Thumb are an experience for sure.
Ralf Burkart https://www.tradebit.com

I''m still consistently amazed by the talent that keeps pouring out of Western Australia. Whether it''s something being put in the water, or some strange otherworldly force, the sounds are truly remarkable & Thumb, who present their 2nd album, open for inspection right now. For the most part, the band concentrate on great bottom ended melodic guitar rock that reminds me of a sort of cross between Fu Manchu & the more melodic moments from Soundgarden, at other times, moving into a sweet edged softer sound with exceptional vocals. That softer sound is amply demonstrated by the sublime "Dark Blue", which is a wonderfully compelling sound that runs on a sort of acoustic base, while the harder sounds are where the band seem to sit most comfortably, like my pick here, the very short but melodic grind of "Heaven In You", as well as the opener "Feeling All Right" & "Meaningless Affair". With little regard for any pretentiousness, Thumb kick some serious arse - get into ''em. For more information, write to 10 Dormans Rd Morley, WA 6062, Australia or [email protected]://www.tradebit.com
Terry Allen https://www.tradebit.com

Now this is what I like to hear. Thumb''s last CD, Nitros City, was a mixed bag of good ideas unable to deliver successfully on their concepts. However, after a few years, Thumb has resurfaced with Strange Kept Plain, an album showing remarkable improvement all around. Whether it''s a sign of growth, better skill or simply knowing how to reign themselves in to create a much more focused musical attack, Thumb has impressed me with Strange Kept Plain. Thumb is still plying wares in the same marketplace as fIREHOSE meets Clockhammer, retaining the sense of quirky, offbeat compositions. This time, however, the guitars contain a thicker bite, great sense of texture from song to song and a looseness Clutch listeners might appreciate. The most impressive part of the album is the bass playing of Brendan Ewing, which provides an intriguing countermelody that weaves and meanders all over the place on each song. This alone should catch the interest of Mike Watt fans who constantly are on the lookout for impressive bassists. The vocals still are a tad touch and go, but they sound much more confident than on Nitros City. The singing certainly doesn''t detract from the overall musical picture, fortunately. The songs range all over the place, from uptempo rockfests to acoustic pieces. Strange Kept Plain is definitely a good showing from Thumb. While there are moments that are still somewhat ragged, the improvement from the last long player to this one shows this band could be extremely impressive next time around. Fans of quirky alterna-rock should definitely check this out.

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