Blues Pills are back with this great album “Holy Molly” that was released on August 21st 2020
Kicking of Blues Pills 3rd studio album and 5th actual album release since 2014 critically acclaimed debut is track 1 ‘Proud Woman’, an impressive anthem crying out for female equality in all things. A raunchy, soul, rock hybrid and possibly a nod to the mighty Bellrays, this begins proceedings at full pelt. I dare to say this is single material but possibly too few male rock DJ’s would be willing to willing give it a chance due to it’s subject matter sadly. Seems a shame that in this day and age there is still the need for songs protesting female inequality but we all know things are far from perfect yet, in fact we seem to have slipped back a couple of decades if you get me. Singer Elin Larsson more than proves her worth on this opening gem and a great introduction to what is to come on the rest of this album.
‘Low Road’ continues proceedings firing straight into top gear with a short sharp shock of fuel injected rock and soul taking no prisoners as they go. A powerful attack is achieved from the off and they achieved more than they possibly even realised themselves by Track 2.
‘Dreaming My Life Away’ track 3 is very much rock n soul business as usual Blues Pills style with Zack Anderson (guitar since 2019 and ex drummer for Radio Moscow) more than proving his worth with a nod to his old band on this song. No fucking about, this song delivers.
‘California’ a love song to the western US state and the slow blues ballads intent to return there with a Faces swagger crammed full of tasteful Les Paul crunch, sweet leads and impassioned vocals.
‘Rhythm in the Blood’: Reminiscent of Peter Green’s (R.I.P.) early Fleetwood Mac and a highly danceable version,we are again introduced to another number with a nod to rock and roll’s past but with an added authenticity all down to the musicians involved who have balanced their own contributions equally to that of their heroes.
‘Dust’. Elin Larsson has little to prove in the vocals department, however I feel compelled to mention that particularly on this song her voice is extremely impressive, I reckon with an ability to cover many different styles not just blues, rock and soul, supported ,of course, magnificently by Zack Anderson (guitar), Andre Kvanstrom (drums) and Kristoffer Schander (bass) the 2020 Blues Pills line up. A real passion comes through particularly on this song and production is spot on also. A real stand out track.
‘Kiss My Past Goodbye’, Next comes the single with a tip of the hat to Stones era Primal Scream who like many have dipped into this well for somewhere else to musically go. A good choice of single which I am sure will get plenty radio exposure on rock stations the world over.
‘I Wish I’d Known’. Something gets lost here although it starts well and no gospel choir is going to save it. A lovely dreamy bluesy atmosphere kicks off proceedings then it all kinds of falls flat and fades out quickly which gives me the impression the band knew it wasn’t working but decided to leave the track on the album anyway because the choir had been so expensive, I could be wrong! Bad choice they should have left it off would be my advice. You can’t win them all !
‘Bye Bye Birdie’ is a slightly different approach taken here. Presumably the subject matter is about a partner leaving one day and being helped with packing his luggage, a consistent blues theme that it is . An impassioned vocal yet again and although the music is impressive it’s not a great song by any means not when compared to ‘Dust’ or ‘Low Road’.
‘Song From A Mourning Dove’. Lyrically impressive and musically interesting this could be stripped down and work beautifully as a simple acoustic ballad which is always the sign of a great song anyway in my opinion.
This is more like it and just proves how capable of great things these guys are. Sympathetic production to makes this track really shine and could fit happily onto any ‘Classic Rock ‘ compilation CD featuring all the greats from the last 50 years. I would have used the choir on this song instead however. I have to draw attention to Zack Anderson’s stunning and heartfelt guitar solo also which is pulled off with great conviction and lots of heart.
‘Longest Lasting Friend’. Stripped down last track and outro to this release is impressive also and all I have finally left to say is Blues Pills deserve to be heard and although I know they have gathered supporters from all corners of the world the past few years they now deserve a more mainstream audience to hear what they are capable of and not just those in the know turned on through media attention and word of mouth from their friends.
I would definitely recommend this album to all lovers of authentic rock n soul music , they have taken the next step and captured that difficult 3rd album with great success and now can look forward to the fruits of their labour and, lots and lots of gigging.
Reviewed by Tim Keppie