The Thrills

The Thrills

The Thrills

So Much for the City

Virgin

In California, everything is perfect: The sun’s always shining, all you have to do is hang out at the beach with your friends, the sand is golden and the water’s crystal clear — just like in the movies.

Right?

I’ve never been, but it must be amazing. I have a friend who’s made a few visits out west over the past couple of years, and is currently counting down the seconds until she goes back to Cali permanently. It’s inspired many an artist to pay homage to it, with one of the latest being the Thrills, a five-man band from Dublin who recorded their debut album in Los Angeles.

So Much for the City is a pop masterpiece (at least in the context of the past couple of years) that could be the perfect summer soundtrack for years to come, wherever you live. The group captures the spirit of The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Neil Young and other early pioneers of pop and rock, taking you back to when our ancestors were teens — the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The first song, “Santa Cruz,” starts off kind of meandering — which had me kind of disappointed — but that feeling disappears after the first 30 seconds, as the tempo picks up and has you in a bopping-your-head-from-side-to-side mood. You know, like when you hear The Partridge Family theme song.

The album gets rockin’ with “One Horse Town” and “Say It Ain’t So.” Both remind me of something the Allman Brothers would have done. The latter is kind of like a mini-“Jessica” with words.

There are also some bluesy sounding songs, which are good, but lead singer Conor Deasy’s voice kind of throws me off on them. It works perfectly for the lighter stuff, but when it gets time to get down and dirty, he gets left behind. Still, the effort is definitely valiant.

So Much for the City, with its lush sounds and the amazing visual imagery it creates (the sounds of seagulls amid the backdrop of “Deckchairs & Cigarettes” makes you think you’re lounging on the beach at sunset), should be used by the California tourism division as the ultimate means to lure visitors.

After hearing such an inspired album, I know I definitely want to make a trip out there.

The Thrills: www.thethrills.com • Virgin Records America: www.virginrecords.com

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