The rock quartet that is Blues Pills formed in the Midwest in late 2011 by the band’s songwriters Zack Anderson and Elin Larsson. They went straight from playing dirty, crowded bars to play at some of the biggest festivals such as Download, Rock am Ring and Wacken Open Air. A true success story.
Exhausted and empty after the long years of touring all over the world Blues Pills went back to basics, and the last years of highs and lows lead to a more autobiographical album in Holy Moly! It’s time for a third dose of the pills on August 21st 2020 via Nuclear Blast.
A band known for their defiant and strong stance both in the music and how they portray that with lyrics, led by an always incredible vocal performance from Elin Larsson. Blues Pills set that bar high with the groovy pop-infused rock opener of Proud Woman. As the name suggests and the lyrics prove, this is an anthem.
It’s with Low Road that the rockers really up the ante though. The energy is a lot more frantic, the psych assault of the guitars and the vocals so statement like, it’s impossible to not give Blues Pills every bit of your attention.
The urgency in the previous track is also heavily present in Dreaming My Life Away where the bass reigns supreme. Whereas California has a bluesy drawl blended nicely with mellow and reflective melody that feels ever so fresh. A stripped back Blues Pills that is downright pretty to listen too. A personal favourite especially hearing Larsson hit such incredible highs.
Rhythm in the Blood is an apt title for band with this much running through their veins but it’s once again with a more mellow approach that they really excel. Conjuring up a smoke-filled and darkly lit bar with Dust. The band are barely noticeable in the gloom as all eyes and ears are fixed on the soulful vocal performance.
It’s not quite back to full on peppiness with Kiss My Past Goodbye but it’s Blues Pills gearing up. Unleashed with a kick-ass chorus. Before Wish I’d Known proves to be the most mournful track of the bunch. Everything here feels lighter than air yet has such weight to it too.
The back to basics approach seems to have done them right as their resolve isn’t waning towards the end of the album. A blazing set of riffs brings Bye Bye Birdy to life before subtly is the key to Song From A Mourning Dove’s success. Another gloriously attractive effort that is as much about the piano and guitar kick as it is about the incredible vocal performance.
This is going to be a very successful album for Blues Pills. How can it not be? If any of the previous tracks have failed to get a tear to shed then Longest Lasting Friend will do the job. A truly special finale that is dripping in gloominess, but pointed gloominess. The message is strong and the tone is nailed. It’s just one last example of how effective Blues Pills are and how much quality Holy Moly has.
Blues Pills – Holy Moly! Full Track Listing:
1. Proud Woman
2. Low Road
3. Dreaming My Life Away
5. Rhythm In The Blood
7. Kiss My Past Goodbye
8. Wish I’d Known
9. Bye Bye Birdy
10. Song From A Mourning Dove
11. Longest Lasting Friend
Blues Pills - Holy Moly! (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 8.5/10