The recent release of Thrills And Chills signals the evolution of a side project into its own entity. Formed by Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer from The Connection, and Kurt Baker of The Kurt Baker Band in 2013, The New Trocaderos specialize in fast-paced songs mix punk with 1960s Top 40. That formula is in full swing on this full-length debut, which also features new additions keyboards player-harmony vocalist Kris “Fingers” Rodgers and drummer Rick Orcutt. Adding to the fun, Kim Shattuck from The Muffs; Line Cecilie Dahlmann from The Dahlmanns; and Palmyra Delran, who performed with The Friggs before embarking on her current solo career, add backup vocals on some of the tracks.
The songs were written by, or written with the album’s co-producer Michael Chaney (Dean Baltulonis is the other producer) and mostly deal with hard drinking and troubled romances. “What The Hell Did I Do” adds Beatles style “bop do wop” singing to an energetic tale of a guy trying to piece together what happened on the previous night. When Marino boasts “I got the swagger” on “I'm So Bad,” the band uncorks a “Honky Tonk Woman”-inspired arrangement to back him up.
Guest musicians Nick Mainella and Chris Klaxton add horns to the energetic and foreboding tale “Hey Big Boy,” which also benefits from Rodger’s freewheeling piano playing. In contrast to the hard-edged “Love And Hate” and “Oh Boy (Today Is My Birthday),” the jangling pop of “Crazy Little Fool” evokes The Hollies. “Like An Angel,” a charming song well-suited for weddings, has a gorgeous vocal arrangement and “Love Anymore” adds yet another dimension as The New Trocaderos do some finger-snapping street corner harmonizing.