Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angel - An Uneasy Peace (Cover Artwork)

Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angel

An Uneasy Peace (2013)

A.D.D. Records

It's been over six years since the last Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels record. Was it worth the wait? Maybe. After two amazing previous albums (three if you count Lets Go Home) and some awesome Slow Death releases, I was more than excited to hear An Uneasy Peace. To get prepared for my first listen, I drank a little whiskey, turned down the lights, and got ready to deafly scream stuff while the rest of the world is muted by the magic coming from my headphones. Unfortunately, that last part never happened. Instead, something even better happened. Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels decided to evolve.

These guys have always mixed in some great old-school country influences with their punkish sound. An Uneasy Peace just mixes in a little punk into an all-out country album. The first track, "I Don't Think I'm Gonna Make It," sets the tone perfectly. This slower and somewhat depressing song about growing old sounds better than most of the band's back catalog. Instead of just writing really great songs and drunkenly hashing out a recording, it seems Pretty Boy Thorson and company really tried this time around. It shows and makes the ensuing songs that much better. However, this country, mellow, open road audibility doesn't last long. The band can still pump out some rocking songs, including "Basements and Barstools," "Blameless," and the closing track, "I Love You Even More." Still, An Uneasy Peace is unlike anything Jesse Thorson has ever done.

The album is full of perfectly fit slide and lead guitars, backing harmonies and overall good production. An Uneasy Peace is definitely the most coherent album the band has ever come out with. Yet, it sounds like it is coming from a brand new band. Perhaps some people will be initially turned off by this. Tracks like "I'm Tired," "Shasta Lake" and "I'll Be Down In A Bit" could be mistaken for Merle Haggard or George Jones songs. This is far from a bad thing. This means that the band is still able to write really great songs, fast or slow. A good song is a good song and they just somehow seem to flow from Jesse Thorson.

Lyrically, the songs lack a lot of the self-loathing and hatred furiously featured in previous releases. Perhaps Mr. Thorson has finally found some sort of "uneasy peace" (pun completely intended) in the world. In turn, the sound of the record is something most fans of the band would never expect. Or, would they? Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels are by no means an old band yet, but nobody wants to see a group sing the same old songs involving being pissed off about something they were angry about in their twenties when they are on stage in their thirties. Like every great band, their songs progress with them.

An Uneasy Peace is definitely worth a listen even if you haven't heard of this band before. Great bands don't churn out the same songs over and over again. They grow a little older, evolve, and sing about what is happening in this current moment. The new record is full of good and equally inspired songs. What more do you need to know?