The straightforward rock band South Normal hails from Chelsea, MI. With obvious classic rock influences, their third album, Emotion Picture, rides a wave of guitar riffs, pounding drums, powerful bass, and commanding vocals by Nathan Mackinder. The disc starts off with the rollicking "15 Minute Fame," followed by "Velvet Jesus," which sounds like a song by the Doors had they survived with Jim Morrison until the 1970s to adopt some subtle hard rock influences. "The Actress" and "It Was You" are simple ballads, as the pace quickly slows down. The tones pick up again on the hard-rocking "Breathe" and on the soulful "Mistress of Minds." The band plays with Queen influences on "Nowhere to Be Found." Guest musician Aaron Mestel adds guitar and flute on that track. The disc ends with the direct pop/rock combinations of "Murder." Throughout the disc, Jeremy Mackinder provides a steady hand on bass, while Ben Vermeylen provides the scorching guitars and Shannon Boone adds the drums. Emotion Picture was produced by Michael Lutz at Tazmania Studios in Ann Arbor, MI.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer