After more than two years on the road touring their debut album, The Picturebooks have returned with their new album, Home is a Heartache, which made its official release on 10th March 2017.
Much like their first record, this German duo continue to provide an eclectically rare sound, whilst still being a recognisable and incredible contribution to Blues and Heavy Rock.
For a duo to have the ability to generate such intensity using just a guitar and a drum set is astounding to hear, and even more impressive to see live.
Their experimentation with alternative percussion and song structure creates a dark and eerie atmosphere to their music, while still remaining grounded and controlled.
The 14-track album was recorded in the band’s garage, where they regularly refurbish and repair motorcycles and choppers. Even before knowing this, their unpolished and natural sound shines through, and the freedom of expression in their own environment is sure to have made a significant contribution to their rustic appeal.
There’s a really primal and somewhat Native American style to the way The Picturebooks play – I wouldn’t say their songs are lyrically heavy, nor are they massively diverse, but each track seems to bare it’s own ‘hook’ and mysteriousness. I think a lot of it comes down to the experimentation as the band set out to deliver something on a new level.
One of the early tracks, ‘War Dance’ portrays this well in such an authentic style, again excelling what you’d expect from a duo.
‘I Need That Oooh’ was the first single released from the new album, defined by the band to mean ‘I need inspiration and motivation’. It’s a real energizing track, and the closest the band come to falling under Alt-Rock (if it wasn’t pulled back by bludgeoning drums and sleek slide guitar licks.
‘Zero Fucks Given’ is one of my favourite tracks on the album, from it’s thumping rhythm and catchy bitter chorus to it’s relativity to common culture. It also includes one of the coolest distorted slide riffs on the record.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tebob1BLgiM&w=560&h=315]
As the album progresses, the songs become darker, and best demonstrate the Blues techniques and influences the two band members share. This is best illustrated in ‘Bad Habits Die Hard’, which leads into ‘Heathen Love’.
The two tracks have really gnarly choruses, and playing with the dynamics of the song a lot more, and transitioning from soft vocals to bellowing wails.
The album was recorded with no cymbals whatsoever and instead includes a few self-made percussion instruments with huge chains, bells, and more.
The variety of these sounds is shown off best on ‘Inner Demons’, which comprises of nothing more than chants, bells, drums and melting guitar slides, which all build aggressively through the track.
Seen Those Days
Home Is A Heartache
Fire Keeps Burning
On These Roads I’ll Die
I Need That Oooh
Zero Fucks Given
I Came A Long Way For You
Bad Habits Die Hard