Imagine if 311 grew up in the mid-west; you know, where the plains states meet the beginning of the Eastern United States. It would be a novel concept and chances are they wouldn’t have that beach mentality, they’d probably end up more rock than surf and we’d probably be calling them Picture Day.
The St. Louis-based foursome (Brian Wiegert, Steve Sesti, Jordan Ross and Luis Actis) claim an esteemed lineup of influence including, but not limited to, Bowie, Alan Parsons, Elvis Costello and Peter Gabriel but ultimately fall in line with Gigolo Aunts, The Sons or anything that can slip into that 1994-1997 alt rock world.
Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with that style, Picture Day is like the long lost band that didn’t quite make the Dumb and Dumber Soundtrack (which is an utterly amazing soundtrack. Seriously, check it out). Ross and Wiegert lay down riffs that immediately remind me of Deadeye Dick and Wiegert, Ross and Sesti form vocal harmonies that are just itching to be broken into by Doug “SA” Martinez.
Every Day Is Picture Day, nice, is a five track romp through nostalgia laced rock, sure, but can someone please tell me what is with Mid-West bands cranking out to this light rock/harmony sound? Is it the water? Do they teach this in third period after you wake up from Science class?
Each of the five tracks on their second EP forms a piece of the puzzle that helps us figure out exactly where these guys are headed. “Madoline” rolls with that peppy quirky quality that made the mid-90s so swell. “Immaterial” croons a love ballad, with a slight rocker edge, but in the same vintage fashion. “One Of Us” takes on a post grunge image that almost works very well. “Long Division” swings with a southern rock influenced lick before landing somewhere very near Hootie and the Blowfish. And then the EP ends on “Happens Daily” to a very “Hello 311” moment giving us the understanding that these four are headed down a path that feels very familiar, but my god it is fun!
So come with me, break out the stonewashed jeans, forest green shirts and snap-back hats and let’s jam some Picture Day. If you deny that they are catchy as all hell then you have some explaining to do for your whereabouts from 1995 through 2000. If you weren’t born yet, then allow me to introduce you to the world of modern surf rock from a land where there are no oceans, but ask your parents’ permission first. Together, we will, whether you admit it publically or not, make every day a Picture Day.