Thrills: Conor Deasy (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Daniel Ryan (guitar, banjo, bass, background vocals); Padraic McMahon (guitar, harmonica, bass, background vocals); Kevin Horan (piano, organ, synthesizer, background vocals); Ben Carrigan (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California; Strongroom, London, England and Area 51, Dublin, Ireland.
Japanese edition adds three songs and a video.
CD contains 3 bonus tracks.
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
On their 2003 debut, the Thrills wholeheartedly embrace the sunny sounds of 1960s and '70s West Coast rock and pop. Although certainly not the first band to look west for musical inspiration, what makes the band a particular curiosity is that it hails from Dublin, Ireland, a city half a world away in both location and atmosphere. Clearly these Irish lads have romanticized California, as apparent on harmony-laden tunes such as the enthusiastic opener "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)" and the lilting "Big Sur," which showcase frontman Conor Deasy's amiable, laid-back vocals. While nods to the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield abound, the group is capable of incorporating its influences without being entirely beholden to them, as on the bouncy, twangy "Don't Steal Our Sun" and the sleepy "Hollywood Kids." Although some listeners may have a hard time getting around the blatant homage, SO MUCH FOR THE CITY proves to be charmingly earnest and entertaining in its quest to evoke a blissful La-La Land vibe from decades past.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (10/16/03, p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Their excellent debut is full of surfed-up WILD HONEY beauty, all piano, sad guitar, and Conor Deasy's wistful vocals..."
Spin (12/03, pp.131-3) - "...Like their true spiritual forebears, the Monkees, the Cali-channeling Thrills are happy mediums..." - Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly (8/15/03, p.74) - "...[The Thrills channel] classic California rock with a shameless eye for detail..." - Rating: B+
Q (01/01/04, p.80) - Ranked #18 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[A] rolling, jangling harmony-drenched road trip through '60s and '70s Americana."
Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #64 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003"
Magnet (2/04, p.95) - "What's astounding is that the Thrills have nailed the relaxed, easy-like-Sunday-morning sound of a drive down Highway 61 circa 1969 like no other band in recent memory..."
CMJ (10/6/03, p.4) - "...Summery harmonies, lazy West Coast melodies, breezy '70s retroisms....How strange, then, [that the Thrills are] full-blooded Irishmen..."
Mojo (Publisher) (01/01/04, p.56) - Ranked #37 in Mojo's "The Best of 2003" - "An act of love for '60s Californian pop..."