The Thrills don't quite live up to their name, but they could
Paradise, Boston, Jan. 12, 2004
By Jeffrey B. Remz
BOSTON - The Thrills would not be a likely candidate to trumpet the sounds of 1960's California coupled with the current rock scene a happening. Not when you're a quintet originally from Dublin, Ireland where a sene of gritty rock might come to the fore.
Nope, these expatriates - they now live in San Diego - can be excused for forgoing their obvious heirs and instead look back to a different time and place in America.
While the Irish/SoCal connection may seem a bit odd at first, that did not prevent The Thrills from putting out the well-received disc, "So Much for the City" (Virgin) last year and enable them to launch a headline tour so quickly into their career.
The question, of course, that must be asked whether The Thrills live up to their pre-billing and perhaps their name?
The answer at this point in their young careers is not quite. On the positive side, The Thrills entertained, mixing between a slower, softer sound where the vocals of lead singer Conor Deasy are clearly heard. Deasy generally puts them to good effect. He sings well enough, though he often he tended to sing within a narrow range.
Backing vocals from guitarists/bassists (they switched instruments during the course of the hour-long set) Daniel Ryan and Padraic McMahon worked quite well in creating the West Coast sound. And keyboardist Kevin Horan performed a similar task, often invigorating the songs.
The clear standouts of the evening were the catchy, melodic "One Horse Town" and the closing song of the regular set, "Santa Cruz (Not That Far)," their first single ever in their homeland.
Both songs had a much harder edge and were faster than the remaining songs. After a few twists and turns, "Santa Cruz" kicked in with a '60s style pop sound.
The remaining songs - The Thrills played 10 of the 11 songs from their debut - were generally good songs, but they tended to fall into the similar sound zone.
With but one album under their belts, The Thrills fortunately not a well-oiled machine. Neither are they a thrill a minute, but they certainly do show promise and a good deal of that.
Patrick Park, an LA transplant from Colorado, opened with about a 30-minute set. Catching about half of the set, Park is a singer who seems to live his words.
The right-on intensity with which he tackled "Past Poisons," with a bit of a blues rock edge, was clearly felt. In this day and age, authenticity and not only attitude ought to count for something. .