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The Thrills
Albums

  • So Much For The City,
  • Let's Bottle Bohemia,
  • Teenager,








  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    The Thrills

    So Much For The City ( 2003 )
    Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far) / Big Sur / Don't Steal Our Sun / Deckchairs And Cigarettes / One Horse Town / Old Friends, New Lovers / Say It Ain't So / Hollywood Kids / Just Travelling Through / Your Love Is Like Las Vegas / 'Til The Tide Creeps In

    The Thrills hail from Dublin, Ireland - but the music contained on this, their debut long-player more closely evokes Sixties/Seventies pop music - The Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach are influences. The music here therefore evokes sunshine and beaches, but we've also got a little country in the equation, a little Neil Young perhaps? Just a little - but this overall mixture of influences, I suppose, is quite unsual for a group from Ireland to be pursuing. It's a grand thing that they are pursuing it, though. A new band that isn't a noisy garage rock band circa 2003?? Some kind of mistake, surely? Well, as the opening one-two sunshine harmony pop of 'Santa Cruz' and 'Big Sur' kicks in, you'll certainly be glad that The Thrills looked to L.A. for inspiration rather than Detroit or New York. The Thrills are as retro in their own sweet way as The Strokes, The Hives or any of the bands that have appeared since, but they've looked in different places for inspiration. A pop guitar band? Lord knows we need one!! The pop songs The Thrills provide us with here are pretty fine, too.

    As a massive Beach Boys fan myself, I was initially rather disappointed with the first single, 'One Horse Town', although within the context of the album, it proves itself to be a fine, stomping pop song with added country guitar swirling around the harmonies and the guitar and everything else. I can dream of driving down an empty highway near L.A in an open roofed car with 'One Horse Town' blasting through the warm air. What a thing!! Shame I live in the middle of England and can't drive really, isn't it?? But, The Thrills provide us all with idealism and escapism! There isn't much darkness or sadness or personal loss here. When it's all the rage to be anguished and lost and lonely and pissed off, The Thrills are flying in the face of fashion! Yes, sir. Ah, back to The Beach Boys. I always go back to The Beach Boys, and the second single, the harmony laden pop of 'Big Sur' more closely made true the press comparisons of The Thrills to The Beach Boys, but the one song here that proves The Beach Boys were an influence and also one of the finest pieces here, has to be the opening 'Santa Cruz'. The harmonies soar, the music resembles Brian Wilson melodies and feels - and happiness surely isn't far behind when you have such a combination?? Actually, the first five songs here are all stellar and gorgeous and very nearly perfect. We move onto the wonderful 'Don't Steal Our Sun' - more harmonies and more sunshine pop, beautifully done. 'Deckchairs And Cigarettes' is the nearest we get to any kind of personal soul-baring here, detailing a trip the boys took to the U.S one summer - spending four months in San Diego. It's a slower song, heartbreakingly well sang.

    'Old Friends' reveals the Burt Bacharach influences and also the Neil Young influences - nice guitar! Nice strings and soaring emotions! Perfect pop? Maybe! Er, okay, so that means the first SIX songs are perfect, right? And the seventh, 'Say It Aint So' mixes in country influences amid a fast tempo and real country guitar picking with harmonies The Byrds would have been proud of. Seriously!! I wonder if The Thrills sound this good live?? Ah, i'll have to go and see them! I really wanna know, because if they do, given their Irish roots and the fact that they clearly love America, we could be talking a massively successful band, here. 'Hollywood Kids' tries to be darker, and quite frankly it doesn't suit them. 'Just Travelling Through' is simple and sweet and the following songs all okay, although the closing 'Til The Tide Comes In', mixing in Bob Dylan organ sounds and harmonica and all sorts of things... doesn't quite prove to be the emotionally stirring masterpiece parts of this album indicated we'd get to wrap up this record. But, The Thrills impress. 'So Much For The City' is like breathing fresh cool air on a summers day and realising that, perhaps, everything isn't so bad in your life after all.

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    Readers Comments

    Rob poomousse@hotmail.com
    They are good live. Saw 'em at Glastonbury. Middle of the afternoon, on a red hot Saturday. Perfect.

    Andre Gareau gareau1a@hotmail.com
    Hey Adrian, great site! Thanks so much for introducing me to this band. There seems to be a bit of backlash coming from the major, hipper-than-thou reviewing sites, but I say to hell with them. Who cares if the Thrills aren't original? I say this is one of the best albums I've heard this year, and maybe in the past few years. Sun-drenched melodies will always be welcome in my stereo. I don't care if it is derivative... Again, very cool site. Keep up the good work

    Marc-André Mallet marcamon75@hotmail.com
    I fell in love this week! With a band. oh yes with the thrills. Their music goes well with 4 of my favorite bands...Grandaddy...The flaming Lips....Wilco and the Soundtrack of our lives. I just hope they come to Ottawa or Montréal in the near futur. That album contains some of the best melodies i've ever heard....it's just beautiful!

    Mac webmaster@albumvote.co.uk
    I was at that same Glastonbury gig too Rob, The Thrills attracted a huge crowd but it had halved by the closing track, you could blame nerves for that and playing “Big Sur” so early on. As for the album, a little bit more creativity would not go a miss, Teenage Fan Club and Dodgy created the summer sound perfectly without getting stuck in 1960’s America.

    Rob poomousse@hotmail.com
    Yeah, BUT i had lost my girlfriend. We were both TOO HOT and just had to cool down. I found her and we were both in love again, the THRILLS were still playing and they were great. Now, where did he get his Stones 'Some Girls' T Shirt From????

    Hatch hatchking@hotmail.com
    I saw em at glasto too. The other stage, blistering heat. I forgot all about the stinging feeling on the back of my neck until afterwards. They are excellent live, better than on the record anyway!

    Richard L., richard.laversuch@tesco.net
    Like the album - but me a bid Dandy Warhols fan. Also like Curtis, Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott Heron. Passed my driving theory test recently - still to take the test! Enjoy seeing your articles in The Daily Mail. I am also a fan of "Spectral Mornings" by Steve Hackett and also Judy Tzuke - but not knowledgeable about music, really - just engaged by it.


    top of page Let's Bottle Bohemia 7 ( 2004 )
    Tell Me Something I Don't Know / Whatever Happened To Corey Haim? / Faded Beauty Quins / Saturday Night / Not For All The Love In The World / Our Wasted Lives / You Can't Fool Old Friends / Found My Rosebud / The Curse Of Comfort / The Irish Keep Gate-Crashing

    It seems as time passes by, that the main problem with The Thrills exists within their limitations. 'Let's Bottle Bohemia' is a slightly more subtle version of the debut, the melodies are less obviously catchy as the band try to progress musically. This progression reveals itself to be slightly more craftily created compositions. The end result of all of this however is the alarming possibility that instead of turning into The Beach Boys, The Thrills will turn into ELO instead. Only without making all the great albums 'inbetween' that ELO did. So, to sum up, The Thrills have produced a second album not as enjoyable as the first. Upon listening several times, it seems that The Thrills haven't produced an album that is bad, as such. Not at all. Just produced an album that starts to become irritating. The Thrills already have a sound that is becoming tired, even as early as this, the second album into their career. The vocalist is much to blame, the vocals seem especially mannered and deliberate across this albums ten tracks and they didn't seem that way before. So, 'Saturday Night' is Thrills by numbers years before The Thrills should, in theory, need to resort to such things. Better is the opening number, the structure and sound of the song is unlike anything we've heard from The Thrills before. It has a little more grit, although retains the lovely harmonies. It works very well. 'Whatever Happened To Cory Haim?' is almost impossible to resist, the kind of simple, nice pop that The Thrills do so well. Not terribly meaningful, yet catchy enough for you to forgive them their faults.

    Nearly all the songs here feature the same exact vocal tone. Nearly all feature the happy piano, and the happy guitars and the vocals harmonies appear in select places. 'Our Wasted Lives', which seems a song a bit more desolate than usual Thrills songs still ends up being a seemingly happy thing with all the same Thrills sounds in the same places that they employed during their debut. There isn't a single new sound on this entire second album by the group. That's somewhat disappointing. Well, don't we want our new bands to have some amount of actual ambition? The Thrills, apart from trying to charm the USA simply by dint of being Irish, seem to lack this musical and progressive ambition. It's a shame, but there you are. Still, as I said earlier, it's hard to pick too much actual fault with this record. It is enjoyable enough, just not enough enjoyable or surprising to make you want to listen to it over and over again.

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    Readers Comments

    Billy Liar glenn@mitchell1818.fsnet.co.uk
    I was waiting for you to review this album because well I like the thrills. There was not such a big buzz on this album as I thought there would be and should have been. Despite 'Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?' getting a lot of air play it didn’t chart as well as it should of done. As for the album I think its very good some moments better than the original certainly,' Not for all the love in the world' is beautiful overall the album is for me an 8 ½ I enjoyed the E L O Comparison.

    Odhran odhranodonovan@yahoo.com
    The Thrills are teh very embodiment of the fact that Loius Walsh single-handedly destroyed the thriving rock music scene that existed in Ireland before he unleashed his soulless drivel upon the world. The Thrills have no bravery, courage, ambition r depth to their songs. I've had them constantly forced on me by Radio DJ's who remind us how bad music can be. That you rate this band highly disappoints me. They border on mediocrity.

    top of page Teenager 5 ( 2007 )
    The Midnight Choir / This Year / Nothing Changes Round Here / Restaurant / I Came All This Way / Long Forgotten Song / I'm So Sorry / No More Empty Words / Teenager / Should've Known Better / There's Joy to Be Found

    The Thrills are turning into Travis. As sure as night follows day, the key to restoring The Thrills reputation had lied with experimenting and/or ambition. Instead, they've made a slick, professional and faintly soulless indie/pop album that even your grandmother would slate for being too safe. What's worse, is the vocals this time out seem incredibily affected, as if The Thrills feel the need to re-instate their irishness, which is a strange thing when the album is all California sounds. The vocals grate and almost sound like the singer had a cold at the time of recording. What, thought we wouldn't notice, ahahah! To the bands credit, the music itself shows accomplishment, with some nice touches here and there. 'I Came All This Way' for instance has a great guitar sound and neat little piano touches. It's one of the best songs here, actually. It's a fine pop tune, all it lacks is harmony vocals, which after the first Thrills album, the band seem to have forgotten. A good section of harmony vocals can help out your lead singer no end. 'Long Forgotten Song' sounds like a Keane reject, only with chiming guitars not really serving a purpose on top of the keyboard lines. Particularly affected and croaky sounding vocals on this tune.

    Three years away, The Thrills. They don't really seem to advanced at all. Still, the slower 'Should Have Known Better' is a decent enough tune. 'This Year' proves that The Thrills can still write decent pop tunes, the harmonica here is particularly welcome. What else? Well, if you've ever heard a Thrills song before, you know exactly what to expect, apart from the harmonies, of course. The vocals are worse than before, the tunes are hit and miss and The Thrills time has been and gone, I would have thought. 'This year could be our year' they sing. Doubt it, I really do.

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    Readers Comments

    Dan dperris@laingorourke.com
    I totally disagree with your review here. I reckon the Thrills are just doing their thing regardless of current musical fashions. I really like all their records - Great to listen to whilst on a holiday in Greece! I cannot understand how anyone could like the first album and not like this. Its simply about good songs... there doesn't have to be any so called "progression" as they would end up making records that sound like someone else. I like the Thrills as they are and I don't want them to sound like Maximo Park.. Arctic Monkeys or anyone else!!! 'Nothing Changes round here'.. maybe that's right, but it's still a great song!


    top of page this page last updated 3/10/07


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