First Look: The Thrills – “Teenager”

The Thrills – “Nothing Changes Round Here”

Guys, I love the Thrills. Most people – including the LA Times’ former pop critic, Robert Hilburn, who wrote this laudatory article – were enamored with their Byrds-aping debut, So Much For The City; I was too, but it was 2004’s Let’s Bottle Bohemia that really made me fall for the Irish band. If the first record was an ode to a mythical California shore, Bohemia went back to the city. It was full of songs with electric guitars and moodier vocals, songs about Hollywood and failure and despair, all with a chewy pop music center. The new album, Teenager, drops the darker tone but retains some of the band’s newfound sadness and maturity.

And, frankly, it’s fantastic. Song for song, it’s their best record, combining the chiming acoustic guitars that won them acclaim with the sleeker songwriting and performances that characterize their more recent work. It’s an album of hope and regret, of wanting to be a teenager again: “If something should…come between us…” singer Conor Deasy croaks out in “The Midnight Choir,” his boyish voice gloriously marred by his straining throat, and then a guitar solo sears through the middle of the song and slices your heart neatly in half.

So let’s hear it: Check out the band’s MySpace, where you can hear four songs from Teenager. No MP3s for now – it’s out on a major – but I’m sure you can track them down if streaming audio’s not your thing.

(Teenager is out now in the U.K. on Virgin – buy the import)


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