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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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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