Skip to main content

The Picturebooks: Imaginary Horse

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

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 is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.