The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
BLUES PILLS BLUES PILLS REVIEW 2014

 

BLUES PILLS

BLUES PILLS

NUCLEAR BLAST

JULY 25 2014

 

 

After the debut EP ‘Devil Man’ last year it looks like we had found another band bound for glory, After seeing them live that same year we found out that they also nailed it ‘live’. The only question was did they have enough material to make us really believe?

 

After a stop gap live EP which hinted that they did here is the album that will finally fully answer that question. We trembled, just a little as we hit ‘play’…

 

Blues Pills just has ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ may be, that indecipherable something that elevates a band from great to jaw-droppingly good.

 

Opening track ‘High Class Woman’ is the right track to begin with, its simple blues rock allows the bands primal noise to rise and Ellen’s voice to let fly. Unlike many bands the real strength of Blues Pills is their simplicity – like making a meal with the very best ingredients you don’t need to over think these things and I’m happy to say that Blues Pills keep it simple right from that space-filled solo on this first track and jazzy breakdown. This is real music just the way it should be.

 

As we get deeper the ground is just as firm with the sixties-groove and build of the hard-rocking ‘Ain’t No Change’ and the psychedelic stomp of ‘Jupiter’ showing the depth, conviction and vision of the band before ‘Black Smoke’ which we heard live last year just smoulders before bursting into life. And that in essence is what Blues Pills do best – cover all the bases from the slow psychedelic blues to meatier fare, and it’s all done with consummate musicianship, passion and real soul.

 

Best of all is that the album never dips in quality: ‘River’ is a song that flows slowly carried along by languid guitar; it’s the only other track here from that first EP. Elsewhere ‘No Hope Left For Me’ offers a simpler mid-tempo proposition that’s equally uplifting before the magnificent ‘Devil Man’ reveals a band at the peak of their powers. There’s so much passion in that song and such a huge voice that you can’t help but be moved by it.

 

The album ends with just as much power, soul and beauty as it began with as ‘Astralplane’ explores the power of Ellen’s voice above a wailing guitar and solid groove, before ‘Gypsy’ adds a little slide to a bluesy road trip, and epic closer ‘Little Sun’ (another song we loved ‘live’) blows you away. It’s probably the most definitive statement here that hints at what these guys can become.

 

This could be one of the best rock debuts for many years. It manages to draw on the past without seeking to replicate it, just to expose its essence and the real timeless beauty of soulful bluesy rock. The hard part now is of course how do you top that?

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

BLUES PILLS BLUES PILLS REVIEW 2014