After more than 600 concerts around the globe, five studio albums and a variety of live releases over the years, the Scandinavian garage, free jazz trio, The Thing — Mats Gustafsson (bass, baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (electric bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) — are excited to present their sixth studio album, BOOT! As the first album on their new label, The Thing Records, and first studio album following their collaborative release with Neneh Cherry, 2012’s The Cherry Thing, BOOT! is The Thing’s most hard-hitting, open and epic release to date.

Recorded over three intense days, BOOT! breathes life and energy, capturing the deep riffs and distorted activities of the electric bass, the attack of the snare drum, the depth of the bass sax and epic lines of the tenor sax. It marks an important development in the trio’s endless search of musical poetic meltdowns with its definite rock sound and open playing. Throughout, they transform their roots, combining their own free jazz and punk aesthetics with elements of Ethiopian music, soul, funk and noise, and re-work album-oriented material by jazz icons, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington.

After forming in 1999 as a Don Cherry recording project, The Thing soon established themselves as one of the most important European jazz groups, playing a variety of compositions, including material by PJ Harvey, Albert Ayler, The White Stripes, Steve Lacy, The Stooges, The Sonics, The Cramps, Lightning Bolt and The Ex. They transformed the music of these other artists into a contemporary context, making it their own. As individuals or as a group, they have collaborated with those including, Peter Brötzmann, Sonic Youth, Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore, David Grubbs, Eye, The Ex, Pat Metheny, Arto Lindsay, Steve Reid, Kieran Hebden, Merzbow, Christian Marclay, The Nomads, Guy Picciotto, Neneh Cherry and more, all activities fueling the music of The Thing to become what the group is all about.

With dedicated fans in the rock, noise and jazz communities, BOOT! takes The Thing’s music to new, uncompromising levels and continues to solidify The Thing’s special and important position in the contemporary independent music world.


The Thing is:
Mats Gustafsson – bass, baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones
Ingebrigt Håker  Flaten – electric bass
Paal Nilssen – Love – drums

BOOT! tracklisting:

01. India (John Coltrane )
02. ReBOOT (The Thing)
03. Heaven (Duke Ellington arr. Mats Gustafsson)
04. Red River (Ingebrigt Håker Flaten)
05. BOOT (The Thing)
06. Epilog (The Thing)

We’ve also have some T-shirts available. Order it form here!

Press about BOOT!:


Boot review in The Wire – November 2013

The Thing, fresh from a collaboration with singer Neneh Cherry, have returned to their stripped-down, raucous core sound on Boot!, Recorded in three day, the six track album opens with a version of John Coltrane’s “India” that’s primitive in the best possible way: the original’s hypnotic, mantra-like saxophone line becomes, through Mats Gustafsson’s efforts, a blustery cross between a military fanfare and the cry of some enraged ape. Behind him, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love batter their instruments in a manner more akin to garage rock than free jazz. This is The Thing’s modus operandi, unchanged since their emergence in the 1990s. The performance is always intense, leaving only the material up to question. In this case, they tackle Duke Ellington’s “Heaven” in addition to the Coltrane piece and four originals, and it’s one earthquake/windstorm after another for an hour, possibly the group’s best release since 2009’s Bag It!.

Phil Freeman, the Wire

The Quietus –Infuse, Confuse, Provoke: Mats Gustafsson Interviewed
Boot!, the mighty new album from Scandinavian jazz punks The Thing, is a heavy, heavy beast. The sonic equivalent of the Hulk doing battle with Godzilla, it bursts out of the speakers in a seething mass of molten bass saxophone, filthy fuzz bass and machine gun snare. If German free-jazz berserker Peter Brötzmann were ever to jam with stoner-rock overlords Sleep, it might sound something like this monstrosity.
Read full here

In AllMusic by Thom Jurek
Boot! not only refines what the Thing do, it extends them into a breathtaking sphere where a Babel-like musical conversation takes place, elevating all of its singular elements into a rough, raucous, glorious whole.
Read full here

in FreeJazzBlog by Martin Schray
….But what is really new on “Boot!” is that Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is exclusively on electric bass. His relentlessly repetitive bass playing brings the band closer to Gustafsson’s other long-term trio: Fire!. It’s no surprise therefore, that the highlight of the album is Håker Flaten’s composition “Red River”, which is based on a riff Led Zeppelin would be proud of. Although Robert Plant has made it clear that he’s not interested in a Led Zeppelin reunion, if he were to change his mind he should seriously consider Paal Nilssen-Love as a replacement for John Bonham. Maybe somebody should play the 14-minute “Epilog” to him, a free jazz bungee jump with Nilssen-Love’s raucous snare rolls bumping over a slow two-step sax theme (I am only joking – Jason Bonham has done a fine job at their O2 reunion gig)….
Read full here

In Guardian:
…Gustafsson charges into the opener with maddened-elephant bass-saxophone grunts over the wonderful Nilssen-Love’s crunching rock drumming, Reboot is a tonally contrasting episode of dissonant whistles and high-pitched snarls over a speeding-train snare-drum pulse, and the frantic Red River is a percussion tour de force….
In The List:

….What emerges is a seething radioactive beast, howling as it’s strafed by Nilssen-Love’s machine-gun snare volleys….

In Marlbank:
….Always on the edge of mayhem yet amazingly tuneful as if the tune has to be smashed into pieces first and then fastidiously put back together again with a method using the chunkiest riffs imaginable and even taking a cue from Ellington on ‘Heaven’, Boot! has the power of punk and attitude of free jazz rolled into one….

Spin Review:
Scandinavian blat-jazz heatmakers and barbecue enthusiasts the Thing are best when they walk the poles of pop song and freak-out — as evidenced by last year’s excellent collabo with Neneh Cherry. The front end of sixth album BOOT! blurps and blarps and skips rocks along this swamp nicely: It’s basically Man’s Ruin-ready muscular sludge-rock with Mats Gustafsson getting his saxophone to crack or flop around and cry like a wounded duck. The back-end sounds alarms and revels in ick.

This is the sixth album by Scandinavian band The Thing. An appropriate name for a band that have built their reputation on their own brand of free form “garage jazz”, ‘Boot!’ is not the easiest thing to categorise or choose suitable words for. Garage jazz is not one of the larger genres out there. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t even have its own section in HMV. in fact it probably doesn’t even have its own section on the internet. Somehow in these most generic of times in which we live in it confidently bucks the trend with its individuality and complete imagination……

The List
Originals and standards given the heavy Scandinavian jazz treatment

in Brooklyn Vegan

In Fader

In Bad Alchemy












In NewCityMusic:
….The covers in question, John Coltrane’s “India” and Duke Ellington’s “Heaven,” are among the most cherished harmonies in the idiom. The Thing turns these standards inside out, revealing their raw power and pure strength. Featuring some brawny blowing from Gustafsson laid atop a rhythm section of absolute barnburners in bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, “BOOT!” is a revelatory listen for the crossover from free form jazz to noise rock and back again.

Burgundio Blog – Jungle style for the second millennium! Read full here