The Picturebooks: Imaginary Horse

From Europe to Arizona Route 66, with German ‘doom country’ duo.

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Something of a ‘heavy psych’ resurgence has occurred in recent years. Such artists as Graveyard, Dean Allen Foyd and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have revitalised the kind of doomy psychedelica once consigned to early Black Sabbath records and the like.

Now German duo The Picturebooks have taken such doom-infused darkness to the States (metaphorically speaking) – sustaining the sun-deprived ambiance of Northern Europe, and mixing it with darkly raw, recorded-in-a-desert Americana.

Much of Imaginary Horse carries subtle, atmospheric shades of Western cinema, with the stomp’n’shuffle of 1,000 Years Of Doing Nothing suggesting Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?-meets-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Elsewhere, the hypnotic E.L.I.Z.A.B.E.T.H. carries a sense of 60s-laced horror, while the propulsive shake of The Rabbit And The Wolf preaches the garagey blues of The White Stripes – complemented by the haunting slide of Learn It The Hard Way.

A couple more really commanding tunes would move them to the next level, but we’ll happily take the primal promise here./o:p

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.