I’m going to be upfront and admit that I think the idea of people living past lives is absolute idiocy; however, if I were ever to entertain the notion, I would be inclined to believe that one of my past lives was at the height of such bands as CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN, and CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL due to my love for the rock and roll of that era. I mean the days when teens dropped acid, as well as all conviction, jumped on a VW bus with complete strangers and drove out to California to catch JIMI HENDRIX, JANIS JOPLIN and a slew of others at festival shows in open, muddy fields. Alas, since neither past lives, nor time travel are at my disposal, I am left with a collection of vinyl and my imagination. Enter BLUES PILLS, a band that flawlessly blends the sounds of the Woodstock generation into a package so organic, one would swear they were having an LSD-related flashback. The group will be releasing their debut August 5 via Nuclear Blast Records.
BLUES PILLS unfurls with current single “High Class Woman”, a rockin’ tune led by a tight bass groove and flowing vocals reminiscent of 70’s-era HEART. “Ain’t No Change” presents some enigmatic play between lead guitar and the group’s rhythm section, as well as a catchy, anthemic chorus that will be sure to get lodged in your head before the song has even finished playing. One of my favorite selections, “Jupiter” is an up tempo number that pays homage to the fuzz guitar sounds of the late 60’s. “Black Smoke” begins with an atmospheric section before segueing into a full on rocker. At the midpoint of the disc, the group slows it down for the bluesy ballad “River”, a song dripping with so much soul, you’ll need to change your pantalones by the time you get to track 6, “No Hope Left for Me.” “Devil Man” presents the listener with sadistic riffing that easily brings to mind the days of 70’s arena rock acts, prior to their pitfalls into the power ballad landscape. “Astralplane” shows poignant work in nomenclature, offering a soaring vocal performance. Closing the LP, “Gypsy” is the only song that could be labeled as less than stellar; and closing track, “Little Sun” features a chord progression that references elements of LYNYRD SKYNYRD’s “Simple Man”, and yet, it seems to fit perfectly to offer a cathartic ending to the record.
Needless to say, I enjoyed every minute of this one. BLUES PILLS delivered a solid debut, full of retro vibes and vintage rock flair, which I found to be incredibly refreshing. In fact, this is the point where I would usually build up a great deal of ruckus about talking you into picking up this record, however, I’ve done a great deal of name dropping to illustrate my point, so I’m going to keep it simple. Pick up this record, sit back, have a smoke (of the less than legal variety) dim the lights and take a journey to back to the days when your parents were getting freaky for magic mushrooms.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL except “Gypsy”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE