The Thrills

So Much for the City (Virgin)

SXSW Records

The Thrills

So Much for the City (Virgin) It's been tough avoiding the candy-sweet jangle-pop of the Thrills as they've warmly harmonized their way into the charts over the winter. Almost as tough as avoiding the use of the B word with them: Beach Boys. While the Dublin, Ireland-based quintet croons about California as if they were surfboard born ("Hollywood Kids," "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)," and the ubiquitous "Big Sur"), it's hard to tell if this is the new wave of retro or just Oasis with sand in their swim trunks. The 10 tracks here don't have an answer either. The harmonies are charming and, yes, Wilson-esque ("Deckchairs and Cigarettes"). The musicianship is quite decent ("One Horse Town") and the songs cute ("Just Travelling Through"). Really cute, like frosting on a child's birthday cake ("Your Love Is Like Las Vegas") – and as substantial. That's about the best that can be said for this good-natured effort, more imitative than derivative. A deadly naiveté infects the songs, wonderful if the concept was to bring sleep, but otherwise limp. And yet a mediocre first effort doesn't mean goodbye to So Much for the City. Their wavery vocals have already made them a buzz band and attendant good press made their first tour a success, so what's next? Let's start with a good jolt of caffeine and some volume. (Thursday, March 18, 11pm @ Exodus)


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