Blues Pills
Holy Moly!


3.3
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
August 29th, 2020 | 28 replies


Release Date: 08/21/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blues Pills are back! Well, kinda…

As a music fan, I can’t be happier when artists feel free to express themselves and release what comes from within their souls. After a fiery debut that placed Blues Pills right at the forefront of the vintage rock movement, instead of maintaining the same successful recipe, the Swedish outfit fused its sound with funk and soul elements. That resulted in a more experimental, albeit weaker, release due to the underutilization of vocalist Elin Larsson and wunderkind guitarist Dorian Sorriaux.

Now, four years after Lady in Gold, bass player Zack Anderson has taken over the guitar duties and Blues Pills have released what sounds like the missing link between their first two LPs. Holy Moly! is definitely their wilder release, as it combines the psych/blues side of the debut with some of the soul touches of its predecessor.

Is this a reason to celebrate though?

Yes and no. It’s smart that the songs are written in a way that, once again, benefits Elin’s voice, and I like how the band utilizes its drummer. Moreover, tracks like “California”, “Wish I’d Known”, and “Song from A Mourning Dove” bring the feels like no track on Lady In Gold. The former has a very convincing late-‘60s vibe, “Wish I’d Known” highlights the band’s Beatles/early-Fleetwood Mac influences, and the latter along with “Bye Bye Birdy” are probably the only two tracks that could stand on Blues Pills. At the same time, “Dust” and “Longest Lasting Friend” are utterly forgettable, and “Low Road”, “Dreaming My Life Away”, and “Rhythm in the Blood” are quite samey. The good thing is that whoever picked the first two singles – “Proud Woman” and “Kiss My Past Goodbye” – probably did that to lower expectations by expecting another Lady In Gold fiasco.

However, I can’t help but feel that once again there’s potential here, which can only be reached with improved songwriting and much better guitar solos.

At the end of the day, how one perceives Holy Moly! depends on whether they’re a glass half-empty or half-full type of person. On one hand, sound-wise, this feels like a step towards the right direction. On the other hand, Blues Pills are kinda like the 2005-06 LA Lakers; replace Kobe with Stephen Jackson, or another decent shooting guard, and what you have is a 20-win team instead of a playoff seed. Similarly, replace Elin with another decent vocalist, and chances are that we wouldn’t be talking about Holy Moly! right now.



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user ratings (24)
2.7
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


8888 Comments


Short and sweet, yet descriptive review Manos.

The French guitarist left? Bummer.

The album is advertised throughout as a return to form, but I'm troubled by the Sputnik rating average (which tells the truth more often than not).

Anyway, I will listen.

Digging: Striges - Verum Veterum

parksungjoon
August 29th 2020


22278 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

on rym its not that much lower



in fact both this and the previous one are higher than they are on sput, which is kinda funny



anyway, need to check this

Digging: Have Mercy (MD) - Armageddon Descends

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


12017 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Cheers guys.



Thanks, Voivod. It's somewhat of a return to form, but I didn't love it as much as in some of the reviews I've read here and there. That said, it's a bit of a grower.

Digging: Winter?s Verge - The Ballad of James Tig

farmerobama
August 29th 2020


113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I wouldn't say it's a return to form, it feels so uninspired. Anyway good review!

Digging: Big Scenic Nowhere - Lavender Blues

Ecnalzen
August 29th 2020


9373 Comments


I want to like this

I am nervous

That Proud Woman song was kinda sucky

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


12017 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Appreciate it, farmer!



Agreed, Ecnalzen. "Proud Woman" and "Kiss My Past Goodbye" really tempered my expectations but they are among the weaker tracks. Check “Song from A Mourning Dove” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i26RaliuEyM.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


5237 Comments


I remember how big they got in underground circles overnight with the first album. They were at every festival and toured a lot. A couple of years later it was like they vanished. The album has some cool grooves, but overall it's just more of the same IMO.

Digging: Deftones - Ohms

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


8888 Comments


^^Their early EPs got them traction, part of the first album relied on that material (a faulty decision imho, they should have taken their time and release a truly new album...), so their rise didn't exactly happened overnight, but yeah, they ran out of good songs pretty quickly.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


5237 Comments


I wasn't aware until their debut dropped. Didn't even know there was material off the EPs. I was hooked only for a short while until the female fronted blues stoner scene exploded. Then I kind of lost track of them and listened to other stuff. Oh well, maybe they will have more luck with the next record.

Minushuman24
August 29th 2020


4347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

That album cover is siiiiick

Digging: Black Randy and the Metrosquad - Pass The Dust, I Think I'm Bowie

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2020


12053 Comments


Sounds like these guys blew up fast and haven't really recaptured the magic.

Nice review, do have to agree the art is attractive.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2020


12017 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Cheers, Mars! The cover art is by some artist named Daria Hlazatova who has done some other interesting drawings as well.

Ecnalzen
August 30th 2020


9373 Comments


ooo, I do like that song better! Nice, I may have a little more hope for this when I get to the whole thing. Thanks!

I love their first album. It is just kind of an almost perfect bluesy/vintage slice of hard rock and every song is just as good as the one before it. Lady Gold was cool but was pretty hit and miss.

I almost wonder if they tried to get away and branch out from their original sound a little too fast, instead or refining and ironing it out and then starting to throw in new elements here and there on future albums.

The vocals are always sublime, tho. Good lord, I love her voice so much.

Ecnalzen
August 30th 2020


9373 Comments


Nice review, btw! I will have to check this out soon and see what I think.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2020


12017 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Cheers and glad you enjoyed the song, man.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2020


5362 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

gotta check this one, loooved their debut

Minushuman24
August 31st 2020


4347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is kind of terrible actually. It sucks cause I feel like these guys are talented and well intentioned, but this was an endurance test. California is a pretty good song, and they continue to have some of the best artwork in the game. But this is shaping up to be a very generous 2.

rockandmetaljunkie
September 2nd 2020


9342 Comments


These guys suck and they suck pretty bad. They had a decent first album and from there onwards, they've been on a relentless streak of being horrible. No wonder how their guitarist left.

To see them live isn't anything great either.

Terrible band

Minushuman24
September 3rd 2020


4347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

borderline 1.5 tbh

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2020


12017 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Damn, you guys certainly don't like this band haha.



Anyway, not trying to change your opinion or anything, but for me there is enough good material on here that made me jam this one repeatedly and with a few teaks I can see them releasing something really good in the future.



John have you seen them live? In the live clips of them I've seen, including one in Athens, they seemed pretty good but it's different when you actually experience a live performance.



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