- - - - - -

Blues Pills - Blues Pills

Blues Pills – CD Review
Blues Pills


Blues Pills



CD Info
Nuclear Blast
10 Tracks
English Lyrics


If this album had been released in 1971, we hippies would have played it until the vinyl was transparent. Now, in 2014, I’d happily play it until my computer fossilizes.

There’s been a surge of retro-rock in the last couple of years. Blues Pills aren’t merely riding this wave with their self-titled debut album, they’re hanging ten at the top of the crest. They’ve drawn from the best influences of granddad rock, rejuvenated and blended the old styles, worked in some modern rock approaches, and created a thoroughly 21st-century style of their own.

This is powerful blues rock that Savoy Brown and John Mayall would have been proud to do. The band salutes Aretha Franklin, the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, the early Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Cream among its influences. That colossal legacy shines through magnificently on this debut album.

Four young artists make up Blues Pills. They come from three countries, the US, Sweden and France. All of them are top-class talents.

Elin Larsson has a voice that could travel anywhere. It would be comfortably at home in a stadium, where Elin’s clarity and projection would have the entire audience swaying and grooving’ to a power song like the album opener, “High Class Woman”. It would be equally at ease in an intimate setting, where it would mesmerize as Elin does in the emotional closing ballad, “Little Sun”.

Dorian Sorriaux is a whiz kid on guitar. Tracks such as “Black Smoke” and “No Hope Left For Me” showcase his sensitivity and remarkable understanding of the soul-blues treatment of a sweet melody. By contrast, the fuzz and then the wow-wow in “Jupiter” bring back fond memories of sludgy funk. With modern equipment, Dorian can create those sounds without cutting slits in the paper cone of a speaker as The Kinks did when they invented the effect. If he had to do that to create the sludginess, he probably would.

Zak Anderson also has great feel for the retro sound. He will play a single, deep bass note per bar where the composition calls for stolid punctuation. He smoothly switches to complex, higher-range rhythm lines as the intensity of the music increases.

Maybe the song on the album that best demonstrates the roundedness of Cory Berry’s drumming is “Ain’t No Change”. It kicks off, literally, with upbeat bass pedal footwork. Hear how Cory phases in the tenor drums and builds the pace. For the more instrumental passages the deeper drums become hypnotic. His drumming is that good all the way through the album.

Blues Pills is not a band for the die-hard metal enthusiast. Its appeal will be stronger among lovers of rich, full, resounding rock. There are many of us out there. Hell, I’d like to see this band in concert.

Rating: 9 / 10

Official website