(Phat ’n’ Phunky) Marathon States is a new trio led by Jason Thinh, a veteran of the Bay Area punk scene—he was a member of ska band The Chinkees and also led his own project, Short Round—who relocated to Athens several years ago without any intention of continuing his music career. With some convincing from his friends, Thinh regained a passion for songwriting, and for the last four years has been putting together Marathon States’ debut.
With backup from Hard Girls members Max Feschbach and Morgan Herrell, Thinh has crafted an emotionally honest pop-punk record that calls upon the sounds of his California past in a smart, modern way without indulging in early-2000s-era nostalgia grabs. The album consists of eight tracks, each under three minutes long, with lyrics focused on issues Thinh has with his life and how he is trying—and in some cases failing—to work through them.
One highlight is “Belasco,” a powerful duet with Man or Astro-man’s Sam Paulsen about the inevitable dissolution of a bad relationship. With I Want a Warning, Thinh has crafted one of the best punk records of the year. Here’s hoping that his newly rekindled love for music leads to more albums down the line.