Just moments ago, A Picture Made released Heal, a 13-track album of marvelous alt-rock music.
Formed in the 1980s, in Kansas and Missouri, A Picture Made has been playing for a long time, sharing the stage with The Call, The Connells, and The Replacements. Frequently compared to R.E.M. and Husker Du, the band released a single, “God Loves A Hell Of A Man” in 1986, followed by dropping an EP, Past, in 1988.
The new album revolves around three tracks about healing, beginning with the title track, “Heal Me,” a request for healing, followed by actual healing on “Heal You,” and then progresses to the miraculous outcome with “Healed.”
“Heal Me” opens on a light guitar topped by a rasping tenor full of grating tones. Gentle, tasty harmonics imbue the tune with alt-folk flavors.
Entry points on the album include “Quitting Now Would Be Treason,” which is reminiscent of the Mid-Western savors of The Band. The measured rhythm supports gliding, undulating guitars and a glorious piano, infusing the music with drawling melancholic hues. “Locomo Mexico” travels on a Latin-lite guitar crowned by a delicious tenor. When the other instruments kick in, the tune takes on a rumbling rhythmic pulse, along with trembling harmonics featuring the tasty braying of an oozing organ.
“Baby Boom Boom” rides thick Southern-flavored rock tones, riding dirty guitars and brawny vocal harmonies. A drum-filled breakdown gives the tune a tight, compact shift, and then ramps back up. “Behind Your Eyes” opens on alt-country-flavored colors, rolling along with contagious rock-lite impetus full of retro tangs. I love the vocals on this track, warm and full of vivacious timbres.
“God Loves A Hell Of A Man” is my favorite track on the album because of its potent harmonics, angular flows of coloration, and the driving, infectious feel of the rhythm.
Heal is a superb album, full of Mid-Western rock muscle, compelling grooves, velvety So-Cal-flavored melodies and vibrant vocals.