Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Most bands live up to their reputations; most bands live up to their reviews; but do most bands live up to their names?

The Catch — yes
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — um, no
The Cure — to some people, I suppose
The Thrills — to be determined

With their references to Santa Cruz, Hollywood kids, sunshine and their surfy poppy gone Americana sound, The Thrills are the most California sounding Irish band I've ever heard. The only evidence that this band wasn't born and raised in the good ol' U. S. of A. was Conor Deasy's blaring accent saying "Thank you… cheers" at the end of every song. Like most giddy American girls, I get a warm longing in my heart every time some chap substitutes "cheers" for "thank you". It makes me want a mail order groom from England. I think that Jamie Oliver from the Naked Chef has something to do with that… but that's an entirely different fascination of mine which I'll save for my diary.

The Thrills are a joyful blend of catchy hooks, playful songwriting, sensible rock guitar with a scosh of a country back bone that makes listeners from KEXP to the Mountain crank up and sing along. The blend of people at the show attested to their diverse following. Indie rock to mom and pop, these kids entertained. I've listened to their debut album, "So Much for the City", and it's obvious without turning on the radio which songs are {or are soon to be} their hits. Within the first guitar strums of these songs, the crowd went nutty, affirming my assessment. Most bands who put out their first album hope they have one signature song that will get them the coveted "record deal". The Thrills have three or four. They must have sensed this because for a year they told their parents they had a record deal and were on the brink of becoming famous, which {at the time} were both lies. Now that's physic power at it's best. But, do they live up to their name?

There was a minimal amount of fluff in their set. Not a lot of stage banter, exchanged looks between band members or joke telling. There was, however, a lot of prompting for the audience to put their hands in the air and clap. This congregational act never fails to remind me of the Sure deodorant commercials from the late 80's. I see the camera focus on the happy girl, arms in full extension over her head, smiling while the background music sings "sure… sure… sure" and then the camera pans over to her hesitant date for the evening who has his arms securily clamped to his sides as he attempts to clap using only the lower part of his arms and the chanting switches to "unsure… unsure… unsure."

Speaking of the 80's, my favorite song of the Thrills set was a new gem called "What Ever Happened to Corey Haim?" The layered harmonies were pretty enough to make the Beach Boys smile.

Oh wait, I haven't answered my question. As I was leaving the Crocodile that night, I was elated, smiling, giddy and ready to take on the world. One might say I was, yes I'm just going to say it… I was thrilled by the Thrills*.

*The actual band name was derived from Phil Spector's Sixties girl groups and Michael Jackson's famous EP.