- 18 Jun 03
Fortunately for The Thrills, the good news is that they have lived up to the hype and managed to bear the weight of expectation to deliver one of the finest, most delightfully crafted albums I’ve heard in a long time.
It’s been a fair while since a band has managed to shake things up with any real flourish in this town. A couple of months ago, it seemed that the city was pretty easy to define in terms of a musical ecosystem. We had our Frames, our Turns, both our Damiens, and like good pals, they loved us and we loved them right back. Then, in the manner that some exotic New York teen beauty queen shows up for class at a backwater Nebraska high school, along come an Irish band that are decidedly… un-Irish, and a chaos of sorts ensues.
No hanging about year after year at Road Records, Whelan’s or The Long Hall for these boyos. In, fact, the first most of us even heard of The Thrills was their signing to a UK label for an undisclosed but reportedly massive sum. In fact, The Thrills had become the stuff of legend, not least in the UK press, before most of us had even seen them live, let alone had the time to bring them into our collective bosom. And having witnessed the ‘workhorse’ ethic displayed by Irish songwriters for some time, we were unused to such proceedings. They were a band, we were told, with an arsenal of perfect and full-bodied pop songs ready to take on the world. And they had good hair, for chrissakes. You don’t get too much of that sort of carry on to the pound these days.
With that in mind, the release of So Much For The City was always going to be interesting. The band’s reputation has truly preceded them, and we are more than aware of the Beach Boys/Neil Young comparisons that have been exhausted by every lazy critic who has encountered them. Even the titles, ‘Santa Cruz (You’re Not That Far)’, ‘Deckchairs And Cigarettes’, ‘Hollywood Kids’ and ‘’Til The Tide Creeps In’ evoke American surfer dude culture.