Main Street Music

So Much For The City
Artist: Thrills
Format: CD
New: In Stock $11.99

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Is there such a thing as too much California dreamin'? Ireland-spawned fivesome the Thrills moved from Dublin to San Diego to write their debut album, and the result is a love letter to both SoCal geography and the type of laid-back breezy pop that emanated from the region in the '60s and '70s. So Much for the City begins not with a bang but with a quiet piano and vocal interlude that gives way to an ebullient ditty. It's called "Santa distillers (You're Not That Far)," and it sets the blissed-out tone for the rest of this album, the equivalent of a ride in a convertible down highway 101. The Thrills road trip through variations on the West Coast style of folk-informed light rock that encompassed Neil Young, the Byrds and Gram Parsons, dusting off the beguiling harmonies and even banjo-picked melodies of that era. Their proficiency is admirable: "Big Sur" features a memorable chorus, while "Don't Steal Our Sun" bounces along on a bright piano line befitting the song's title. The guitars and pedal steel are spot-on as well, summoning memories of McGuinn on "One Horse Town" and the Mamas and the Papas on the mellower "Just Travelling Through." Of course, this earnestness has a downside too; the Thrills never develop their own identity, unless it's simply to be a group of Irish guys so fascinated with SoCal culture they'd record a Morricone-like ballad called "Hollywood Kids" and go the metaphorical distance to come up with "Your Love Is Like Las Vegas." Fortunately, singer Conor Deasy's congenial voice and the band's reverent musicianship supply enough memorable moments to obscure the album's inherent sappiness.


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