October 18, 2007

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The Thrills, Teenager
Virgin Records, Oct. 23
Habitual readers of NME and other imported European gerbil-cage-liners should be well aware of this Dublin-born indie-bubblegum fivesome. Virgin’s finally releasing Teenager in the States, not a dumb move considering the radio potential of the songs (at this writing the Killers are in heavy rotation for making like Cheap Trick’s copycat little brother, and the average Teenager song would fit nicely into the same college-radio block as “For Reasons Unknown”). Nothing on this album is end-of-the-world original aside from the provenance of the sound; it’s not every day that a bunch of Irish kids get it in their head that if they wish really hard they’ll become California surfers. My test-lab notes on this are sparse – there’s nothing notable about the record but nothing to sink your hate into either, like Kaiser Chiefs without the roughhousing. It’s beach-blanket patter for the easily impressed frosh, really, twee tunes trying to survive in a shoegaze vacuum, Belle & Sebastian vs. Black Tambourine, one could say. In the end, you couldn’t disrespect any newbie for thinking The Thrills were the best band on earth, as a lot stupider things have happenede. AEric W. Saeger