Last year, the American-French-Swedish awesome foursome, Blues Pills, graced Australia with their vintage riffs and perfect blend of everything that is great about rock n roll. Mixing the best of Soul, Garage Rock, Stoner Rock, and what they now term as ‘classic rock’, these cats came charging full speed ahead with Corey Berry’s thumping back beat filled with groove, while vocalist Elin Larsson’s voice wailed from the stage as 18 year old guitarist, Dorian Sorriaux left everyone speechless with mouths open fixated on every guitar lick and perfectly executed solo. It really was one hell of a spectacle.
On the strength of their debut 7” (now extremely rare and most sought after) and the now infamous Devil Man 10”, we as lovers of music have been waiting patiently for their debut self-titled full length to drop. Will it stand up to the high praise received by their earlier works? Well my friends, let me tell you this: It does.
Blues Pills is a work of genius. In a day and age when there is just so much music out there to choose from and finding something fresh and exciting may seem a little overwhelming, this 10 track album is pure sonic bliss from start to finish. Oh and check out that bitchin’ cover art!
High Class Woman opens the show and right from the start you can feel it in your bones. It’s as though you just want to get up and get your groove on at a 60s love-in. Remember those? I don’t, but I know what they are. Thanks to all those books on the MC5 and the Stooges, but I digress. ANYWAY, I have to point out that there’s just no holding back on the guitar work as Sorriaux goes in for the kill with some of the most incredibly well-crafted guitar solos you’re likely to hear this year, maybe this lifetime. It’s as though the fiddly diddly solos follow Larsson’s vocals along, each guitar note reaching where Larsson’s voice was just mere moments earlier. It’s this kind of playing that stands out the most on Blues Pills. Every single solo feels just right. There’s not a single moment where it goes off track and gets lost on its trip through shredsville. It’s just so well calculated and whether he is carving up a storm through the finale of Black Smoke or kicking it back through the album’s more gentler moments like The River or Astralplane, there is nothing on this record that doesn’t gel so fluidly.
The band have reworked both The River and Devil Man from their Devil Man EP for this album and oddly enough, The River is longer on this album while Devil Man is just under a minute and a half shorter yet still manages to pack quite a punch. Zack Anderson’s bass lines are so on point rounding out one hell of a rhythm section that shades of Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones or Dust’s Kenny Aaronson creep through at every moment which is never a bad thing.
To put it plain and simple, Blues Pills is simply incredible. Everything is as it should be. The music, while based in a sound of days long ago, never gets tiresome or repetitious. Each song is as good as the last and the only fault you will find with this record is that it ends. Seriously. It’s no surprise that Blues Pills are receiving endless praise and hype and this album is every reason why. They are most worthy. A contender for the best album of 2014? You’re damn right! No, fuck it, I’m calling it now. This is no contender, this IS the best album of 2014 and we still have another six months to go! Sucks to be every other band releasing albums this year.
Blues Pills is out July 25th through Nuclear Blast.