My choice of listening material when leaving work is highly influenced by the preceding nine hours or so—if it’s been a day in which I feel I have achieved something then I can hit ‘Random’ and will almost certainly be happy with the outcome. However, it’s more usually the case that, having dealt with petty office politics, dunderheads, and an IT system that works to its own “let’s fuck with the users” approach, I’m in need of a musical elixir to help me regain my sense of self. I have a playlist consisting of bands, artists, songs, and albums—all of which have the power to return me to my former self. 48 Thrills has just made that list with this, its second album and first release in four years. The equation is simple, featuring big guitars and anthemic songs with hooks aplenty, leading to a collection of refrains and choruses that nestle firmly into my consciousness with ease. It’s the kind of music that gives me that much needed reboot thus making the trip on a crowded bus infinitely more bearable. By the time I alight the vehicle, I find that I’m ready to bounce along for the half mile walk home and, as such, able to greet my wife and kids with a smile rather than a scowl. This is by far the best 48 Thrills release to date, much of which is down to the all-round upbeat quality it possesses. I must acknowledge my own stupidity in that the first two notes of the excellent “No Excuses for Regrets” always lead me to believe I’m in for a cover of Jane Wiedlin’s “Rush Hour”—even having heard it over two dozen times.
–Rich Cocksedge (Self-released, [email protected], 48thrills.bandcamp.com)