Review of The Picturebooks forthcoming album “The Major Minor Collective”
By Cathy Moore
Album #5 from German rock duo The Picturebooks titled The Major Minor Collective will be released on September 3, 2021 and it is chock full of bluesy rock collaborations with powerhouse musicians like Dennis Lyxzen (Refused), Neil Fallon (Clutch), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), and Ryan Sinn (The Distillers) just to name a few. The album is the follow up to The Picturebooks’ previous full-length album, The Hands Of Time, which was mastered by Brian Lucey (Biffy Clyro, Marilyn Manson, The Black Keys, Ghost) and recorded in the band’s own studio they built themselves. The album featured the tracks “Electric Nights“, “Howling Wolf“, “The Hands Of Time“, and “You Can’t Let Go“, which features Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.
The Major Minor Collective was born out of brilliant idea of bringing together various artists, who have either inspired the duo or who are their friends. The idea was to have some kind of creative exchange in these crazy times, a bridge to fellow artists during the pandemic time when most people were feeling incredibly disconnected. It also opened the musical range of the band in many ways and led to the most varied musical work The Picturebooks have ever done in their career.
Not surprisingly, my favorite track on the new album is “Rebel”. The song starts with a slow, haunting vocal introduction and then explodes into a passionate anthem featuring the vocals of Grammy Award winning vocalist Lzzy Hale of Halestorm paired with a screaming electric guitar part and a driving percussion beat. I am an enormous Lzzy Hale fan so I assumed I would like the song, but I was completely blown away! I absolutely love the musicality of the song and also the lyrics which send a message of inner strength and reminds us that no matter what is happening outside we have to find our own salvation within ourselves.
What did surprise me is how much I loved the other tracks on the album as well. “Catch Me if You Can” featuring the vocal stylings of Chris Robertson of Black Stone Cherry is a very close second for my favorite song on the album. It is sexy and smooth and you can’t help but want to dance to the bluesy rhythm. I couldn’t stop listening to it.
“Here’s to Magic” featuring Dennis Lyxzen of Refused is a hard rocking psychedelic tune that presents a harder side of the band. The percussion elements in this song make it stand out for me. The trippy video also adds to the appeal.
“Holy Ghost” featuring vocals from Jon Harvey and backing vocals from Steve Kiely – both of Monster Truck – is another crazy cool song that makes you feel like standing up and saying AMEN to the rock gods.
The Major Minor Collective is such an impressive effort that it made me want to go back and check out other music by The Picturebooks, and I’m glad I did. You can really feel the passion these guys have for their music and it makes you yearn for more. All 11 songs on The Major Minor Collective (12 if you get the digital version with the bonus track) have their own swagger and personality while still being infused with the very recognizable style The Picturebooks bring to all of their music. Words really can’t do it justice. You have to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
In addition to releasing the new album, The Picturebooks will be embarking on a major European tour, “On the Road Again”, starting in early 2022. I really hope to see some US dates added to their schedule!
The Major Minor Collective Track-listing:
- Here’s to Magic (feat. Dennis Lyxzèn [Refused, INVSN])
- Corrina Corrina (feat. Neil Fallon [Clutch])
- Catch Me If You Can (feat. Chris Robertson [Black Stone Cherry])
- Beach Seduction (feat. Leah Wellbaum [Slothrust])
- Holy Ghost (feat. Jon Harvey [Monster Truck])
- Too Soft To Live And Too Hard To Die (feat. Elin Larsson [Blues Pills])
- Rebel (feat. Lzzy Hale [Halestorm])
- Multidimensional Violence (Feat. Erlend Hjelvik [HJELVIK, Ex-Kvelertak])
- Riders And Farmers (feat. The Inspector Cluzo)
- Blind Riders (feat. The Well)
- Again and Again
- Song 12 (Fan Edition)*
*Bonus Track: only available on Digipak-format and Digital Album
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The Picturebooks “ON THE ROAD AGAIN“ 2022 Tour Dates:
13/03/22 Hamburg @ Nochtspeicher (GER)
15/03/22 Gothenburg @ – Pustervik (SWE)
16/03/22 Stockholm @ Slaktkyrkan (SWE)
17/03/22 Copenhagen @ Hotel Cecil (DNK)
19/03/22 Antwerp @ Kavka (BEL)
20/03/22 Zwolle @ Hedon (NLD)
22/03/22 Cologne @ Artheater (GER)
23/03/22 Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof (GER)
25/03/22 Berlin @ SO36 (GER)
26/03/22 Leipzig @ Moritzbastei (GER)
28/03/22 Prague @ Futurum (CZE)
29/03/22 Krakow @ Kwadrat (POL)
31/03/22 Budapest @ Robot (HUN)
01/04/22 Vienna @ B72 (AUT)
02/04/22 Zurich @ Werk 21 (CHE)
07/04/22 Barcelona @ Razzmatazz 3 (ESP)
09/04/22 Madrid @ Caracol (ESP)
10/04/22 Bilbao @ Stage Live (ESP)
12/04/22 Stuttgart @ Universum (GER)
13/04/22 Munich @ Strom (GER)
14/04/22 Bielefeld @ Forum (GER)
17/04/22 Paris @ La Maroquinerie (FRA)
19/04/22 Manchester @ Rebellion (GBR)
20/04/22 Dublin @ Grand Social (IRL)
21/04/22 Glasgow @ King Tuts (GBR)
23/04/22 London @ The Dome (GBR)
24/04/22 Bristol @ Exchange (GBR)
27/04/22 Sheffield @ Corporation (GBR)
28/04/22 Birmingham @ Mama Roux´s (GBR)