Review Summary: Let the heavy blues flow.
Unemployment is, if not the most unfortunate, one of the most unfortunate situations individuals will be called to face at some point of their life span. Some theoreticians of labour dynamics tend to beautify the situation in talk show panels and web/newspaper columns, saying that it is like walking in and out of a revolving door with a theoretically infinite amount of entrances and exits. The brutal truth, however, is that joblessness is a deleterious transition from treading solid ground to slowly sinking inside a quicksand hole, unless circumstances conspire otherwise.
When Swedish citizen Elin Larsson got fired from her day job, she spontaneously decided to spend some time in California. There, she met bassist Zach Anderson and drummer Cory Berry, and as all three of them shared a common interest for rock and the blues, they formed Blues Pills (sic), and started making music together. Preliminary jams yielded material good enough to land an EP contract with Swedish label Crusher Records and a slot for an upcoming tour in Spain. However, the band was still lacking a regular guitarist and literally at the last minute, French teenager (!!) guitarist Dorian Sorriaux was hired. Anderson and Berry had been amazed by Sorriaux’s live performance, during a show of their old band Radio Moscow in France. With the line-up completed, Blues Pills went ahead and recorded Bliss
, whose material places the band among the best “contemporary” vintage heavy/blues rock outfits.
Okay, nothing’s new under the sun any more in the blues and hard rock, so the second best bet is to make good music that will grant repeated jam sessions and make hearts beat a little faster. Blues Pills hit the nail in all aforementioned respects. If Janis Joplin’s unfortunate passing had never occurred some 4 decades back, Elin Larsson’s vocals would have us believe that Joplin is still alive and fronts for Blues Pills. Yeah, it’s a blasphemy to compare Joplin to any other female rock singer out there, but Larsson’s vocals are really up her alley. At the EP opener “Bliss” she sings in her mother tongue, so those familiar with Sweden’s great heavy/blues rock outfits (November, for example), will have an additional reason to celebrate with what Blues Pills have put on the table. Instrumentally and sound-production-wise, the band slays. The rhythm section is propagating a tidal groove that’s hard to resist (especially in “Bliss” and the underground hit “Devil Man”), whereas Sorriaux goes off road all the time with his furious rhythm and lead guitars, the latter sounding as they’ve been played by a hard/blues rock veteran. As for the sound, it feels dirty and "analogue".
Blues Pills have drawn several wild cards out of their sleeves, in order to come into form and turn some heads over their side. While some may argue (righteously up to a point) that the outfit is simply more water motioning the mill of heavy/blues rock revival, those in need for genuine sensations in the genre, should definitely check it out. Almost all the great blues rock stories have already been told, still new and proficient narrators to remind us of these stories are always welcome.