Blues Pills – s/t

Blues Pills - Blues PillsTo quote Will Farrell’s Ron Burgundy character in the film Anchorman: well, that escalated quickly. It’s an apt quote to describe Blues Pills’ meteoric rise to fame, who, after three EP’s of tantalizing teasing have now finally released their first self-titled album. Sounds from the Dark Side takes a look at the goods on offer.

The only real criticism you can direct at Blues Pills‘ debut album, is that is doesn’t sport all to much new material, with only five out of ten songs hitherto unreleased (four if you count Ain’t No Change; more on that later). For those who have seen the band live on stage already, the number of new songs will be brought down even more. Niggles aside, though, Blues Pills‘ first real effort is a stellar one, and the fact that I now own multiple versions of a number of songs does not diminish the quality of this album one bit. The Sweden-based quartet finally deliver what they have teased for so long here, and anyone who is familiar with either the EP’s or their amazing live reputation will know what to expect here.

The album starts out fresh with the thus far unreleased triple strike High Class Woman (which also is the first single the band has released a video for, added for your viewing pleasure at the end of this review), Ain’t No Change (which, to be fair, is a reworking of the previously instrumental song Mind Exit, now with added vocals) and Jupiter. Instantly apparent becomes the extraordinary talent of these still very young musicians. Here are four people who know what they are doing and do it very, very well. Blues Pills‘ biggest draws, both on stage or off, are Dorian Sorriaux’ almost otherworldly guitar playing and Elin Larsson’s vocals. Both perform with a gifted fire way beyond their years, and as I’ve said before in my review of their latest EP Live at Rockpalast, it’s a little frightening to think of what this band will be able to put off in ten years time. Listen to the vocals and the musicianship on the riveting Ain’t No Change and the frantic guitar work on Jupiter to understand what I mean. The other new songs offered here are the terrific No Hope Left for Me and Gypsy, a cover of the Chubby Checker song.

The other half of the album consists of material well known to those who followed the band prior this this release, and it’s testament to the spirit of the band that they re-recorded those five songs. Especially Devil Man has been thoroughly reworked here. Gone are Larsson’s iconic opening howls to set of the song (slightly to its detriment, I might add), with the band immediately launching into a heavier, spruced up version here. I can’t decide which version is better as yet, but the fact that we’re offered a different version is a boon in itself, and should not be taken for granted. Great songs like Black Smoke and Astralplane, amongst others, make a welcome return here as well. Closing off forty minutes of brilliant blues rock is Little Sun, here in its already third iteration on record.

Truth be told, Blues Pills have set the bar very high with their first proper release. Impossibly high even, perhaps, as I personally don’t see them topping this very quickly. The band has had the luxury of time to craft an absolutely terrific album, and it will be interesting what they come up with for their sophomore album, which is rumoured to be in the works for a tentative 2015 release. Until then, there’s this album to enjoy, whether you know most of the material already or not. Suffice it to say that this is the best debut album I have heard in many years, and it’s going to end up in a very high spot on my end-of-year list. Highly recommended.

Release date: out now
Label: Nuclear Blast

Track listing:

  1. High Class Woman (4:28)
  2. Ain’t No Change (4:58)
  3. Jupiter (4:06)
  4. Black Smoke (5:09)
  5. River (4:23)
  6. No Hope Left for Me (3:53)
  7. Devil Man (3:06)
  8. Astralplane (4:39)
  9. Gypsy (3:09)
  10. Little Sun (4:50)

Line-up:

  • Elin Larsson – vocals
  • Dorian Sorriaux – guitar
  • Zack Anderson – bass
  • André Kvarnström – drums

Further surfing:

Advertisements

One thought on “Blues Pills – s/t

  1. Pingback: Blues Pills – Lady in Gold | soundsfromthedarkside

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s