Over The Thrills
Who knew that a group of young men from Ireland could out-Beachwood Sparks the Beachwood Sparks? With walls of cascading vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Beach Boys and Neil Young by way early Bee Gees-inspired songs with titles like "Big Sur," "Santa Cruz" and "Hollywood Kids" one would swear that the Thrills were the illegitimate offspring of Michael Nesmith, John Phillips and Gram Parsons who had grown up in hippie communes in the canyons of Topanga or Malibu. Where the West Coast has given birth to anglophile bands such as the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols -- bands who have even been known to affect a British accent on some songs -- it only makes sense that on the other side of the pond there are kids dreaming of sandy beaches, blonde-haired girls in bikinis, and sets of surf that pump out all day long. In their romanticizing of all things California, the Thrills manage to sublimely exaggerate the California sound. With the help of Beck's right hand man, producer Tony Hoffer, the Thrills' harmonies are flawless and huge. Their songs bounce like beach balls falling from the heavens, and their arrangements recall Brian Wilson's best impersonation of Phil Spector.