The Thrills

Let's Bottle Bohemia (Virgin)

With help from producer Dave Sardy, The Thrills trade in some of the Laurel Canyon loveliness of their debut, last year's So Much for the City, for the swagger of Sunset Boulevard. Which is just about as good a place as any to wonder "Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?" The answer, of course, is a variety of white powders and an unfortunate alliance with the other Corey, though this isn't really addressed in the song, the band's first single from the album. "Corey Haim," instead, does two things for The Thrills: reaffirms their love for L.A. nostalgia of all stripes and allows the band to hire Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks and his wall-to-wall carpet of violins and such. The song serves as the perfect entry point to this second album, where it's after the gold rush and on to the next one for these Irish lads, where "You Can't Fool Old Friends With Limousines," but you can still try. The extra year under their collective belt gives Bohemia a sense of regret and resolve, providing a punch that didn't really need to be thrown on So Much for the City. It's a fiercer, fuller effort for it, the layers of strings (guitar and otherwise), keys and harmonies urging Conor Deasy's cracking croon back into the fray instead of giving it a shoulder to cry on. The Thrills may have changed neighborhoods. Let's hope they don't leave the city behind any time soon.

 
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