Richard Sawyer

The Thrills
"So Much For The City"

20th March 2005
reviewer: Richard Sawyer
rating: 3 out of 5
published by: EMI
released: 27th May 2003
  1. Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)
  2. Big Sur
  3. Don't Steal Our Sun
  4. Deckchairs And Cigarettes
  5. One Horse Town
  6. Old Friends, New Lovers
  7. Say It Ain't So
  8. Hollywood Kids
  9. Just Travelling Through
  10. Your Love Is Like Las Vegas
  11. 'Til The Tide Creeps In/Plans

The Thrills have many a high-ranking fan in the music scene, from Noel Gallagher to Chris Martin to Morrissey. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in a band and the buzz surrounding them; equally though, it can be hard to fall in love with an album which just isn't as good as many make out.

The Thrills, on a beach, yesterday
The Thrills, on a beach, yesterday

The album starts well: 'Santa Cruz' is upbeat, catchy and promising. 'Big Sur' and 'Don't Steal Our Sun' continue the theme, and you start to see why they have been praised so highly. You appreciate the way the band are thinking and you really begin to get into it. At least until 'Deckchairs and Cigarettes', which really is a low point for me. I can't relate to the song, it's too slow and to be honest feels very much out of place. From there on in the album lifts only to drop you down once again.

The Grease-inspired 'Say It Ain't So' gives the album a tail-end lift, but for my money this tail just isn't wagging. Don't get me wrong, the first few tracks alone justify the album purchase. This album just feels neither polished or important. It's not doing anything that hasn't been done before. Some laid back, lo-fi, banjo laden tracks are enjoyable, but nothing more. At times the songs can be so laid back that they approach being boring, it's sad but true. I actually find some tracks, like 'Just Travelling Through', horrendously depressing!

A Mercury music prize win wouldn't shock me, as stranger things have happened, but if it was up to me they wouldn't actually be in the running.

The Thrills are here to stay, I am doubtless of that fact. I just feel they have a more complete album in them, and I hold out hope of that.