PRETTY BOY THORSON & THE LIL’ HAPPINESS / LUTHERAN HEAT: Split: 7”

Lil’ Happiness: Truth be told, I’ve been having trouble distinguishing Jesse Thorson’s projects sonically from one another. I don’t truly understand the difference between what would make a song a Lil’ Happiness tune versus what would make it a Slow Death song. Best I can tell, is that the Lil’ Happiness are more willing to sit back in the rocking chair and open up a bottle of beer on a warm rural night. There’s a country twang and a hard rock strut present that’s not always willing to show its face. The songs on this side are pretty fantastic, with “Wait” being a particular standout. Lutheran Heat: Stompy, shouty garage rock in the swamp gospel tradition. The name seems appropriate, since I can’t seem to separate the music that’s presented from the idea of a congregation in the southern heat, sweating and praising Jesus. The tracks even have a call and response between the pastor and the flock. Their second song is much more reminiscent of ‘50s rock ballads like “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Overall, recommended. –Bryan Static (Rad Girlfriend, radgirlfriendrecords.com)