ALBUM REVIEW: Picturesque – Do You Feel O.K?

Release Date: April 24th 2020
Label: Equal Vision Records
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/picturesque
Twitter: www.twitter.com/picturesqueband

Rating:

‘Do You Feel O.K?’ is the second full-length from Lexington’s Picturesque, and further proves that the five-piece just hate to be pigeon-holed into specific genres, boasting synth pop, angsty punk lyricism, and even frantic instrumentation at times.

Opener ‘Necessary’ exemplifies all of the above perfectly, as the band are at their most melodic whilst simultaneously providing a punchy chorus and grisly guitar work alongside silky-smooth vocal deliveries. The band have cited Sleeping With Sirens and Hands Like Houses as some of their favourite bands, and the sounds of both of those are very present in their music.

‘ATTN:’ carries on the energy of its predecessor, with furious guitar lines accompanied by bubbling synths and melodic pop vocals. Heartbreak sits comfortably at the core of the record, with tracks tackling the good and the bad ways one may handle it, and this one particularly focuses on the latter, with an emphasis on meaningless hook-ups.

These themes carry over into ‘Swipe’, a track that’s evidently about dating in our current climate with the title being a nod to dating apps, all upheld by rap-esque, fast-paced melodies that twist and turn their way into a catchy, bouncing chorus that will stick with you long after the track ends.

Just when you think that Picturesque are more pop than rock, they hit with ‘Prisoner’, a song that begins with pulsating synths that prowl their way into ferocious instrumentation and searing, cathartic vocals that bring forth some of the record’s most punk moments. Similarly, ‘O.K?’ is a slow burner that reaches a climactic peak with the chaotic yells of “I don’t feel a thing, I don’t feel ok / I don’t feel the same, are you certain you’re not hurting?”. The influences of Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens) are especially prevalent within these two tracks.

The band let their feet off the brakes a little more on ‘Glass House’, an emotional effort that’s reflected perfectly by the instrumentation that rises and falls in unison with the lyricism. There’s a much darker tone here, and this is Picturesque at their most aggressive. They take us on a rollercoaster ride of self-hatred, intoxication, and anxiety that makes for easily the most memorable track of the entire album.

These messages are again visible in ‘Pray’, “The devil’s in my head and he won’t let me rest / Everyday just like the last since you up and left / I should pray a little more, I shouldn’t pray for death”. Despite the subject being so mental health orientated, there’s a refreshing glimmer of optimism in the rough here.

Picturesque consistently walk the fine line between aggression and self-reflection with sheer confidence, facing their demons and knocking down all barriers in their way. They balance punk energy with danceable pop, and some really impressive vocals too. Any fan of the softer side of rock with a heap loads of emotion in the mix will adore this.