Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Ain't It Funny (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels

Ain't It Funny (2006)

Redemption Value

Yeah, you're going to give me shit 'cause my bro's the drummer, but fuck off. I'm not going to listen to a shitty album because I know someone in the band. And if I didn't believe in this fuckin' band, I wouldn't be writin' this review in the first fuckin' place.

After recording thier self-titled EP, Jesse Thorson and the boys got into a good studio and slammed out a re-recording of most of their EP along with a few new bruisers and one track best described by its title: "The Best Part About Getting Dumped Is That You Get to Write a Power Ballad." You've also got punk-country jams like "28 Yrs." that features the chorus "Everybody says I'm lazy / I'm a no-good piece of shit / it's been 28 years of fuckin' up / but I'm just too dumb to quit." But just because some songs are re-recorded doesn't mean that they should get pushed under the rug. Gems like "If the Drinkin' Don't Kill Me, Then I'll Think of Something Else" and "The Luckiest Man Alive" got a hip new going-over, most notably from the change to upright bass and two electric guitars, where on the last album the bass was electric and one o' the guitars was acoustic.

Shit, where are my manners? You might not have heard these guys before. Well, they specialize in playing honky-tonking country songs too fast and too drunk to be classified as country or even alt-country -- as my bro so elequently put it to me as we were eating dinner together with the fam one night, "We're not alt-country; we kick the shit out of alt-country." The songs are unmistakably country in their roots, their chords could have been Haggard or Cash tunes some time ago, but the attitude and speed and rowdiness is a bit much for a starlet from Nashville.

Each song focuses on altered states, gettin' angry and mad and sad at the same time, heartbreak and headaches. But don't pen them into the party boy category. The Dan Johnson-penned "Grandad" touches on some heavy subjects: "Somewhere down inside that bottle / there's someone I don't want to meet / There's an angry man at the bottom of that glass like my father's father before me." And don't forget the organ on "Two Step Across Two Harbors." That wasn't there before.

The album's 10 songs and 23 minutes. The tunes are toe-tapping and beer swilling. The band is PBT & the F'n A's. And their songs are brilliant.