Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels

Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels (2006)

The Party's Over

Taking influence from `80s punk and hardcore, Pretty Boy Thorson really plays country songs. We're not talking about some shitty alt-country band who's tops in the indie charts, or some hipster calling 12 bars and an acoustic guitar country, we're talking Mere, Hank, Johnny, and crew. And they play these country songs much too fast and drunk. The result, my friends, is a practically self-released EP featuring six original songs about drinking and hard luck, and one Merle Haggard cover about drinking and hard luck.

Featuring cowboy chords, rhythmic bass, punk drums that pay tribute to tradition, and a loud guitar chock full of rockabilly riffs backed by an acoustic. Stiffed in tradition, front-man Jesse shouts and growls out witty verses like

This life that I live / it don't go nowhere at all / It just intersects with emptiness and alcohol / the hardest part of living / is living with myself and if the drinking don't kill me then I'll think of something else.
Don't try to fight it / you'll just wear yourself out / I guess somebody should've warned you before this started / You might go down swinging, but you'll still go down / So stay where you are and don't make a sound / Kid you don't have a chance, don't try to fight it, don't try to understand / Take a pull from that bottle, sit down and relax.

Intercut in these two-to-three-minute rockers is "Two Step Across Two Harbors," a 3/4 country waltz about heartache and leaving a small town. And sandwiching this ballad are "I Know I Said I Love You But I Guess I Don't," and the honky-tonkin' "The Luckiest Man Alive," which features the repeated chorus, "I never loved you at all." So to take stock, we have one heartache ballad, one song about drinking alone bitterly, two about never loving the woman in question, and two about having the deck stacked against you, as the album rounds off with "Things I Should Have Told You Before," which ends with the repeated phrase, "Do what you like, stay in your place, but wipe that smile off your face!" Unlisted on the track list is a cover of Merle Haggard's "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink," which seemlessly fits in the band's catalogue of songs.

This disc feels just like a teaser, like a warning of something great to come. And though it really feels flawless without any songs pushing the boundaries of your patience, it's just plain too short. I want more. I want a lot more. But I guess this shall appaease me until the band gets a chance to put out a full-length.

[Ed.'s Note: A member of Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels is a brother of Jesse's.]