indieberlin CD review – Pickers – Modern – high energy rock with a rockabilly twist

Pickers: Modern

high energy rock with a rockabilly twist

(Warner)

The debut record from Pickers gets going with a ripping start. It’s high energy rock with a rockabilly twist. Rockabilly is a much misunderstood brand of rock’n’roll, and when done well can add a whole lot of energy to otherwise predictable garage rock. Pickers blend it in well.

The best moments of Modern are when the production takes a back seat and the band come to the fore. The guitars are loud, the bass is driving and the drums lay down a solid beat. It’s easy to imagine the band playing in a dark and grimey club, the guitars being flung around with abandon, the throat raw with pure rock’n’roll and cymbal stands at risk of taking a dive ay any moment. However, there are a moments on the record where the energy seems to have been left on stage and it doesn’t translate as strongly in the studio. The title track is one offender.

Much of the album carries early Arctic Monkeys vibe – and there’s comparisons to be made vocally as well – but without the dance-ability of the music. Who cares about looking good on the dance floor anyway? The songs bounce back and forth between English and Deutsch lyrics, and the band keep a nice balance between the two.

Pickers show some decent songwriting chops. The songs aren’t a simple chorus/verse construction and go deeper than you’d expect in the average three-minute track time. They’ve paid attention to their lessons from the British guitar band predecessors. It shows on Kristina, though strays too close on Du Gehoerst Mir. Album closer Control shows the lads can do go beyond a rockabilly or indie garage rock. It channels Is This It era Strokes. The mysterious hidden track adds some atmosphere that they were shooting for on the slow late album ballad, Bright Eyes. It’s here that a side of the band is shown that’s beyond the melodic garage rock.

It’s a solid debut from Pickers though one that suggests their live incarnation might just be a bit more electrifying.

Review by Jason Kenny.

 

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