Rating:
9.0
Blues Pills - Blues Pills
25 July 2014


01. High Class Woman
02. Ain't No Change
03. Jupiter
04. Black Smoke
05. River
06. No Hope Left For Me
07. Devil Man
08. Astralplane
09. Gypsy [Chubby Checker cover]
10. Little Sun


Psychedelic rock has always been a diverse and creative musical niche, the more upbeat and rhythmically infectious examples of the subgenre usually facilitating the modus operandi to which its fans would stereotypically respond with: "whoa, groovy vibes." When a band lives and breathes the general ideals that held sway over rock music as exemplified from the mid-60's to the mid-70's, and manages to make it seem as if this time has come all over again through sound waves instilling euphoric nostalgia, you know you've hit something hippies would consider gold, if they had any materialistic interest in shiny metals. The feeling of an entire decade has been conveniently, colourfully and convincingly compressed into one audible pill, a first full dose this Swedish based band has self-labelled as Blues Pills.

Within the retro-psychedelic craze that holds international appeal across contemporary rock music today, this young band stands out. Not because they present a boundary pushing new sound or take psychedelic elements to unprecedented transcendental heights, but because their style is familiar and fresh in equal measure. Down-to-earth musicianship makes Blues Pills what they are. Completely care free in character, there are no artistic extensions or ambitions here that they obviously don't feel at ease and comfortable in demonstrating.

The result of this is ten tunes which revive the heydays of a variety of acts ranging from the likes of such notables as Janis Joplin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the ever influential Led Zeppelin with unrivalled fervour and authenticity. It's astonishing to think that so many years separate this band's style from their inspirations; the nostalgic impact this music must have for those of that generation is practicably unfathomable to me as a youth. Yet that doesn't mean that their sound doesn't appeal to folks of all ages, after all, these bluesy tunes are for the here and now, making this kind of rock music entirely relevant again. The music here represents more than mere resuscitation; it's renewal and energising of a sound that will never fade from collective memory. Successful rejuvenation is Blues Pills' triumph.

Individuality is a hard thing to come by from the plethora of efforts made to reinstate psychedelic rock's relevance for younger generations. As a part of said generation, this band's members being in their early twenties, they pull off the sound of decades ago with astonishing stylistic accuracy, to the point it may leave the listener convinced that they are in fact hearing something of that past era.

In essence their debut record is characterised by a well controlled duality; you'll find totally irresistible upbeat numbers such as the Chubby Checker cover "Gypsy" with its busy percussion and you'll find the more morose and psychedelia embracing wind-downs like "No Hope Left For Me". The contrast is there and easy to hear, which creates something of a exhilarated state within the writing of the first four tracks, before the listener is brought back from experiencing such a state with an abrupt change of mood and pace in the residually psychedelic flow of the bluesy "River." Although the preceding toe-tapper "Black Smoke" works well to more subtly introduce the bluesy side of the sound in its slower tempo segments. Tracks like "Devil Man" emerge from the blues swathing with heavy psych edge and dynamic vigour.

To summarise the maturity of the musicianship here, their attributes are made clear with the centrepiece in the vocal performance. The rhythm section is an exemplary context for Elin Larsson's soul infused delivery, both defining frame and soul of a varied blues to psychedelic rock performance. This band is exceptionally tight knit with authentic hippie hemp of the most organic quality, to which Larsson gives voice in full colour. The production brings out the best in the sound, the psychedelic elements occupying an appropriate space behind the guitars, bass and percussion, but not to the point of their receding and being withheld or rendered inaudible.

Blues Pills isn't simply a product of the retro-psychedelic rock movement, as this debut presents all the ideals that the movement aspires to achieve.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 29.08.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
More reviews by R'Vannith ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 20  
Users visited: 220  
Search this topic:  


Draugen - 29.08.2014 at 14:57  
Nice to see this band featured on the site. This album will definatively be the next 2014 release that I'll listen to.
DelightfulJim - 29.08.2014 at 14:59  
Easily one of the best albums I had the pleasure of hearing all year.
PocketMetal - 29.08.2014 at 15:01  
Want,want,want,want. If it turns out to be anything like Jess and the Ancient Ones I'm gonna be happy as a puppy.
Karlabos - 29.08.2014 at 16:08  
That cover *.*

I listened to a song because of the cover and it's actually pretty good.
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2014 at 17:06  
I really liked this album, although not quite as much as you by the sounds of it.

Now review Maui Tears by Sleepy Sun.
R'Vannith - 29.08.2014 at 17:19  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2014 at 17:06

I really liked this album, although not quite as much as you by the sounds of it.

Now review Maui Tears by Sleepy Sun.


Haven't heard of that one, but I'd better look into it at your insistence.
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2014 at 17:24  
Written by R'Vannith on 29.08.2014 at 17:19
Haven't heard of that one, but I'd better look into it at your insistence.

It isn't their best but since it was released this year it's eligible for the front page.

Plus it has a lot of similarities to this album. Dead Meadow is another personal favorite when it comes to this style but Warble Womb was released last year so we might have to wait a bit on seeing them added here in terms of a review.
R'Vannith - 29.08.2014 at 17:33  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2014 at 17:24

Written by R'Vannith on 29.08.2014 at 17:19
Haven't heard of that one, but I'd better look into it at your insistence.

It isn't their best but since it was released this year it's eligible for the front page.

Plus it has a lot of similarities to this album. Dead Meadow is another personal favorite when it comes to this style but Warble Womb was released last year so we might have to wait a bit on seeing them added here in terms of a review.


Dead Meadow is a new name to me as well, that's two I need to check out.

Radio Moscow has a new one out as well, which I'd recommend. Cory Berry (used to be in Blues Pills) and Zach Anderson are ex-Radio Moscow members, though Blues Pills is a bit less on the heavy psych side than Radio Moscow.
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2014 at 17:36  
Written by R'Vannith on 29.08.2014 at 17:33
Radio Moscow has a new one out as well, which I'd recommend.

Bitch please do you really think I haven't heard of Radio Moscow. Got their full discog on my PC.
R'Vannith - 29.08.2014 at 17:41  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2014 at 17:36

Written by R'Vannith on 29.08.2014 at 17:33
Radio Moscow has a new one out as well, which I'd recommend.

Bitch please do you really think I haven't heard of Radio Moscow. Got their full discog on my PC.

I should've seen that one coming, how did you find their latest? I still think my preference goes to "Brain Cycles" tbh, but still "Magical Dirt" is great stuff.
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2014 at 17:50  
Written by R'Vannith on 29.08.2014 at 17:41
:lol: I should've seen that one coming, how did you find their latest? I still think my preference goes to "Brain Cycles" tbh, but still "Magical Dirt" is great stuff.

I don't think they'll ever surpass their self-titled, but Magical Dirt is a great album. It pretty much necessitates smoking up in order to fully appreciate its psychedelic groove and playful guitar melodies, but the '70s vibe is like a fun for all ages kind of thing, so you really can't go wrong. I think So Alone and Bridges are probably my two favorite tracks, but it's hard to pick out favorites when it's such a consistently good album.
R'Vannith - 29.08.2014 at 17:59  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2014 at 17:50

Written by R'Vannith on 29.08.2014 at 17:41
:lol: I should've seen that one coming, how did you find their latest? I still think my preference goes to "Brain Cycles" tbh, but still "Magical Dirt" is great stuff.

I don't think they'll ever surpass their self-titled, but Magical Dirt is a great album. It pretty much necessitates smoking up in order to fully appreciate its psychedelic groove and playful guitar melodies, but the '70s vibe is like a fun for all ages kind of thing, so you really can't go wrong. I think So Alone and Bridges are probably my two favorite tracks, but it's hard to pick out favorites when it's such a consistently good album.

So Alone is a good choice I think, as the first track I think it really does get the album going well, and I'd agree that the consistency to it is definitely a strong point. Though based on a few listens to it, it might be a little lacking in variety for me. I do feel compelled to revisit it fairly regularly though.
V01d - 29.08.2014 at 18:07  
This is a really great review, going to check this album out. I second Dead Meadow; my fiance got me into them with their eponymous release. Really good stuff.
Lethrokai - 29.08.2014 at 20:00  
Definitely one of the better albums of the year, and I haven't even given it a proper listen yet.
I just know that if it:

1-) Sounds like hard-rock/blues rock
2-) Actually does something original with it

Then it's better than 90% of the albums in its genre right now, which definitely says something for quality.
Scythe Culto - 30.08.2014 at 03:58  
This is soo groovy.
I'm totally digging it.
Truemetaljope - 30.08.2014 at 17:48  
Solid album but IMO Devil Man ep is even stronger. The review is spot-on.
JohnDoe - 30.08.2014 at 18:30  
I love this album, great work; some of the guitar work also reminds me of the Cream days of Clapton and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.
Daggon - 30.08.2014 at 18:32  
Listened to this one yesterday, it was a really pleasant experience, it has a great replay value, at least at first listen.
Migtanteot - 08.09.2014 at 00:28  
Written by Truemetaljope on 30.08.2014 at 17:48

Solid album but IMO Devil Man ep is even stronger.

Agree with this.

This album really make me pay attention of that "retro-psychedelic rock movement."
suggestion are welcome.
R'Vannith - 08.09.2014 at 07:05  
Written by Migtanteot on 08.09.2014 at 00:28

Agree with this.

This album really make me pay attention of that "retro-psychedelic rock movement."
suggestion are welcome.


While there are literally too many retro-psych rock bands out there to keep account of, there are a few recent bands that aim for a more deliberately "retro" image than simply having an old psych rock style to them. The most relevant example I can think of is Kadavar (they're label mates of Blues Pills as they're also signed to Nuclear Blast).

From new releases... I know of Marblewood and these Germans:



Bands like these take more of an advantage of the whole "retro" image than other old styled psych rock out there.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Blues Pills - Blues Pills 4.5 01.09.2014 by Alex Fenger
News Blues Pills - New Music Video Online 4.5 06.11.2014 by Ocean Sage
Reviews While Heaven Wept - Suspended At Aphelion 3 05.12.2014 by BloodTears
Reviews Re1ikt - Рэкі прабілі лn 3 14.02.2012 by Milena
Reviews A Sound Of Thunder - The Lesser Key Of Solomon 3 14.09.2014 by PocketMetal



Hits total: 2881 | This month: 80