Pretty Boy Thorson, "Dangerous Intersections II"

Fans of Pretty Boy Thorson will be interested to hear that the band has some new material available: Dangerous Intersections II is a four-way split 7" featuring one Minneapolis band and two more with local ties.

Basement Black starts things out with an anthemic "Freedom or Beer...Whatever, Dude," that chugs through a repetitive chorus that opens the record with a good, building energy. The band includes ex-Off With Their Heads' Josh Jordan. Afterword, Baltimore's Dead Mechanical runs through "Poison Bearer," it's decent enough, but forgettable, melodic punk with voice-shredding vocals.

Kicking off Side B are the country-punk Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels (currently active with new members as The Slow Death). "Start Me on Interferon," isn't quite your grandfather's country, but it relies more on heart than twang, and that's why the band is able to pull off such a style. Singer Jesse Thorson's voice has more grit and less polish than the genre's forefathers, but that grit makes it feel honest when he explores an awry relationship with the classic loner's justification that, "I'm too good for you." It's followed by The Measure [SA], with "How to Thrash a Million," a song indicative of their quirky, fast pop structures that rely on melody and brutal honesty. It's a love song and fits well with the rest of the compilation, even if it fails to stick out from the bulk of their catalogue. Recent transplant Mike Yannich plays drums.

In short, Side A is a more abrasive punk style, while Side B tackles invokes more melody, starting with the Pretty Boy Thorson ballad and following with a more upbeat tempo to end the record on a positive note. It's only a ten minute compilation, but it serves as a good introduction to four often overlooked bands.