No Thrills is the debut record from Joe Flory. It's been a long time coming from a man we now know as Amateur Best and some may remember as Primary 1.
His Amateur Best project was born partly from Flory's own frustration with the pop music form. After an aborted attempt at making a pop album for a major label as Primary 1 he had lost all interest in making music. So instead of writing songs Flory decided to start documenting his thoughts in a series of online comics. Those strange, quirky comics were eventually released alongside 7" singles on London label Double Denim and became something of a healing process. While No Thrills isn't a concept album, the energy and passion spent on the comics certainly helped inspire and drive the music to the point Flory finds himself at now.
The smart, inventive pop music of No Thrills is testament to the fun Flory had rediscovering his muse. From the squeaking saxophone that proceeds the gorgeous, lilting melodies in Too Much (featuring Nick Hunt of Outfit on guitar) to the bouncy, cartoon pop of Pleased. There are darker patches, but even the record's most depressed moment Get Down sounds like it takes place on a fairground ride.
The release of No Thrills on Double Denim Records marks an end and a beginning for Flory. It's the album he felt he'd been making in his head for years but sees its release as the start of something even bigger and more exciting. Each of his short comic books came labelled as chapters, and while No Thrills has no such attendum it's hard not to think of it as the first of many more to come from a supremely gifted songwriter and story-teller.