Monday, August 03, 2009

Review: Pictures of Then - Pictures of Then and the Wicked Sea

Label: self-released

Released: August 4, 2009

If Jeff Lynne was more quirky than slick, he may have found himself in the neighborhood of Pictures of Then and the Wicked Sea. From the start, the band makes it clear that they have both bombastic, big guitars as well as carefully crafted hooks up their sleeve, yet they manage to be grounded at the same time. They can be as easily driven by huge chords or swaggering riffs as they can be by acoustic intimacy or 70s countrified pop. Like Lynne, they borrow heavily from the Beatles' sound, but not as much from that band's creative adventurousness. While they do operate in a safer zone, it doesn't make them dull, because they give their influences a unique voice. Throughout, there's enough hint of indie cleverness to bind it all together, no matter which path a song takes, ultimately finding the happy ground between wild and careful and drawing on the best of both worlds.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 7/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 6/10
Overall: 7/10



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