Picks and Pans Review: So Much for the City

updated 02/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Thrills

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If the Beach Boys were spliced with Coldplay, they might sound like the Thrills. On a dreamy debut, this quintet from Dublin, which counts Coldplay's Chris Martin, U2's Bono and the Rolling Stones among its fans, blends sunny '60s surf music with moody modern Brit pop. Led by singer-songwriter Conor Deasy, who grew up next door to guitarist Daniel Ryan, the Thrills bring a wistful beauty to this musical ode to the West Coast, which was inspired by a summer spent in San Diego and was recorded in L.A. Songs like "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)," the San Diego homage "Deckchairs and Cigarettes" and "Big Sur," which includes a bit from "(Theme from) the Monkees," make the Golden State sound so inviting that these blokes should be hired by its tourist board. The Thrills also nod to Nashville, adding such country accents as banjo and harmonica. But those sweet Beach Boys harmonies are pure California.

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