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
Helhorse Review
BLUES PILLS
LADY IN GOLD

NUCLEAR BLAST
Release Date: August 5th 2016

Blues Pills Lady In Gold

It's hard to believe "Lady In Gold" is only the second full length album by Swedish rockers Blues Pills but on listening to the tracks, you would think the band were seasoned veterans. Which wouldn't be too far off if you think how active they have been since their inception 5 years ago, countless shows and a few EP's and even a live record. Their live show is what has drawn people to the band but without the material, it's all for nothing and "Lady In Gold" simply shows that this band has all sides covered.
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This time around Blues Pills have scaled back the more guitar driven retro rock of their previous material and have gone for a more soul based kind of feel. The bluesy nature of guitarist Dorian Sorriaux's guitar style is still there, the jazzy feel of the 60's a major component of the music but here it's more spacey, psychedelic but with a strong groove element too. The title track which depicts the angel of death as a beautfully deceptive woman opens the album and already you can feel the swinging beat of the drums and the flowing nature of the band as an organic musical instrument. The soulful voice of Elin Larsson drives this song as it does in many of the tracks on the album and it fits perfectly with the tone of this song especially. The gospel inspired "Little Boy Preacher" is more high energy as it rattles along before the band bring things down a few notches with "Burned Out", the intro piece drips of bluesy sounds that then rocks out with an on and off drum beat before ending with a nice little slide guitar.

Despite the overall feel of the album which is a little more mellow than the previous self titled, there is still enough groove based tunes to dance to. "Bad Talkers" swings nicely, it's bluesy in tone and moves you beautifully while "Rejection" is a real thumper with a bass line driving the song through a funk groove. But the more soulful stuff is the highlights here like in the twin piece action of "I Felt A Change" and "Gone So Long". They lead into one another seamlessly as Elin leads the charge with her Aretha Franklin like voice, the former track filled with more organ sounds while the rhythm section takes a seat and the latter has a simple kick drum beat that pushes the song along. And to top things off, a bonus cover track of "Elements And Things" originally by Tony Joe White can be found as the final track on the album which just seems to be a fitting end for the album.

Blues Pills have really evolved their sound on this one as they progress further than ever before. There is something real here and while the music reminds you of the 50''s and 60's swinging jazz and blues rock, there's a lot of newer elements which fit like a glove. Again Elin Larsson absolutely shines through on all the tracks and the mellower, more spacey stuff that has more room than ever before allows her voice to be the center of attention. The rhythm section of Zach Anderson and Andre Kvarnstrom downplays it all wonderfully as it switches between groove and psychedelic based styles while Dorian experiments even more with his guitar rather than just riffing out on solos. If you still haven't checked Blues Pills yet, you are seriously missing out. "Lady In Gold" is one of the band's most strongest releases yet and established fans of the band won't be disappointed.


TRACKLIST
Lady in Gold
Little Boy Preacher
Burned Out
I Felt a Change
Gone So Long
Bad Talkers
You Gotta Try
Won't Go Back
Rejection
Elements and Things

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Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie