Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Release Date: September 3, 2021 Genre: Rock, Blues Rock, Hard Rock
Label: Century Media Records
Song Highlights: "Rebel (feat. Lzzy Hale)," "Catch Me If You Can (feat. Chris Robertson)," and "Beach Seduction (feat. Leah Wellbaum)"
The Picturebooks, a rock/blues-rock duo based out of Gütersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is set to release their sixth studio album, The Major Minor Collective. The band is creating dirt tracks across the globe in the biker and rock 'n' roll scene. This record has many notable rock artists featuring on it in the industry, including Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), John Harvey (Monster Truck), and Neil Fallon (Clutch), to name a few. Even some of the tracks on the album have Ryan Sinn from The Distillers doing bass on them. This album has a lot of notable artists but does it live up to the hype for that rock/blues-rock?
The album starts off with "Here's to Magic," featuring Dennis Lyxzén of Refused. I never heard of Refused until today, and I enjoyed Dennis' vocals alongside Fynn's -The Picturebooks vocalist/guitarist. The two did have a very good dynamic with each other. I hope to see more collaborations with these two again in the future. Next up is "Corrina Corrina," featuring Neil Fallon from Clutch. When I saw Neil from Clutch on this record, I was very optimistic about the track. The style of the track didn't feel right to me with Neil's vocals. It has those old western-style guitars with the instrumental, but it kept that arena rock sound. But the guitar riffs turned out great for the track. "Catch Me If You Can" featuring Chris Robertson from Black Stone Cherry is the next track on the record. Black Stone Cherry's last two records are my favourite from the group, and Chris' vocals shine like if it was a Black Stone Cherry song. It still did give that western-style that The Picturebooks are trying to do, and it works with Chris' vocals. This was honestly my second favourite track from the record.
Following that, we have "Beach Seduction" featuring Leah Wellbaum (of Slothrust). I have nothing bad to say about this track at all. Fynn had a great dynamic with Leah, and you can see it with the track, as well as with a very good instrumental. The only thing I would say kind of sounded off would be how they made Leah sound on the song. She kind of felt like she was underwater at some points.
"Holy Ghost," featuring Jon Harvey from Monster Truck. Another track I was surprised about seeing for a feature on the album as Monster Truck is well known in Canada. Another great song with a groovy, catchy 2000s arena rock sound, I would say when I hear this. Fans for old-school rock would enjoy this song, and Jon's vocals sound great on this. "Too Soft To Live And Too Hard To Die" featuring Elin Larsson is a song I'm not much of a fan of. The electronics in the song felt loud and drown out the feature. Don't get me wrong, Elin sounded great, but with the electronics, you can't hear her at any bit of it. For sure one of the downfalls of the album.
The main track that stands out for this record is the next one which is "Rebel," featuring Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. Lzzy's screams are perfect on the track with great guitars, drums, instrumentals and with Fynn's backs up is by far my favourite track on the record. Up next is "Multidimensional Violence," featuring Erlend Hjelvik of HJELVIK, and it was too short for me. I do wish it was a bit longer, but the vocals didn't fit this record at all with the style. Maybe if this was a standalone single, for sure, it would have been great.
"Riders and Farmers" featuring Laurent Lacrouts and Mathieu Jourdain of The Inspector Cluzo is another solid track. This track felt like a good album track that you hear. Good dynamic with everyone for vocals. Nothing bad to say. "Blind Riders" featuring Lisa Alley and Ian Graham is another banger. It's a good hard rock song, as well both Ian and Lisa did great for vocals. Guitar riffs were great and solid drums too. "Again and Again," as well as "Song 12" are two tracks that had nothing to bring to this record. It was two songs that weren't needed on the record. "Again and Again" has a nice short instrumental but no vocals, and "Song 12" was just the Fynn chanting some "Whoa's" on the song. It really didn't make sense why both of these were added as the last tracks.
The Picturebooks made a good rock record with amazing features. But it lacks some original vocals from Fynn, as all of the tracks were carried by the features. I never got caught off guard with repetitiveness or any of that you hear in the most recent rock albums. I'm excited to see how the band will do for the next release, and I hope it won't be carried by features.