Rebel – The Picturebooks (feat. Lzzy Hale)

Welcome to the featuring Lzzy Hale (of the mighty Halestorm) trilogy. We’re starting off the festivities with a power ballad that has an emphasis on the power. Like an audition for Felicity Jones role as Jyn in Rouge One – The Musical (Hey, it could happen) Lzzy is defining what a rebel and rebellion is all about. Her trademarked holler is put to good use over the German of origin but southern rock of sounds of The Picturebooks.

The blues rock duo’s profile got a boost from their guest vocalist as part of a bigger project. Lzzy isn’t their only special guest vocalist in recent times. High Priestess of This Sort Of Thing Chrissie Hynde has lent her incomparable presence to the duos dirty south sound before on their last album.

They’ve been out there playing tunes like Zero Fucks Given & Your Kisses Burn Like Fire for a dozen or so years at this point. The Blues based Rising Easy signed sons of Gütersloh headed out west in 2017 to holler, screech and clang in the tradition of Nick Cave and The White Stripes with their second (arguably fourth) album Home Is A Heartache. Before that there was the lo-if stoned biker blues of Imaginary Horse and even earlier than that it looks like they were a trio who release the brilliantly titled List Of People To Kill and then Artificial Tears before they compiled all their early riff and roll into the double vinyl The Early Years.

In 2019 they’re last full length LP The Hands Of Time did some business but their website will tell you this band concentrates mostly on the live experience and they their webstore essentially tells people to wait for their records for when the band aren’t on tour.

Rebel comes from their 2021 album. It’s called The Major Minor Collective because it’s choc full of superstar special guests. Lzzy is joined by Neil from Clutch, Dennis from Refused & Ryan from The Distillers. OK maybe superstars is a bit strong but it speaks to the kind of tough, no nonsense, road dog spirit that a duo of this ilk can gather a roster of such cool and influential hard rockers together.

With Rebel the remarkable thing to note is the restraint. Lzzy’s band are often JP brand metal. The PB’s diesel stained leather and denim clad biker rock with an eye into the dark side. So gentle acoustics and empowerment lyrics are a genuine surprise before the power chords start. Then she’s off, like a banshee. Incredible.

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