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Blues Pills: Lady in Gold

Classic rock darlings Blues Pills are back with their second full-length release, the ambitious and quite accessible Lady in Gold. Now making their home base in the land of all that is '70s musically speaking, Sweden, the band also have a new drummer in one Andre Kvarnstrom, who joins Elin Larsson (vocals), Dorian Sorriaux (guitar), and Zack Anderson (bass) in this latest version of the powerhouse blues-rock band. Lady in Gold sees Blues Pills tightening up their songwriting skills, as the band have created an album that not only will continue to appeal to the '70s blues rock faithful, but there's also a wealth of pop & soul tones throughout as well, which is sure to appeal to an even greater audience.

The title track and "Little Boy Preacher" kicks things off in fine fashion, both tunes bluesy hard rockers led by Larsson's commanding vocal delivery, tasty guitar licks, and catchy rhythms. "Burned Out" has more of a soul/funk/classic rock vibe, with a certain Allman Brothers Band meets Bonnie & Delaney feel, the first sign of potential mass appeal, but the band take that one step further on the engaging "I Felt a Change", an emotional ballad featuring a poignant Larsson vocal and delicate electric piano from guest Per Larsson and Mellotron courtesy of Tobias Winterkom (see if you can hear the similarities to Black Sabbath's "Changes" with the Mellotron strings.) Fans of pop/soul sensation Adele will surely love this tune, and in a perfect world this song would be a major hit. This segues into the textured "Gone So Long", another bluesy, soulful track that again sees Larsson soaring to the heavens with her sultry vocals, and the band take a trip back into the psychedelic '60s with the engaging "Bad Talkers", one of the more upbeat songs on the album that draws some similarities to US act Rival Sons. Sorriaux lends some tasty guitar licks on the psychedelic blues of "You Gotta Try", another tune also dripping with keys, and his wah-wah laden riffs permeate the shuffling and quite groovy "Won't Go Back". Anderson's booming bass kicks off "Rejection", a fun Grand Funk Railroad inspired piece that sees the entire band digging deep with some addictive grooves and memorable melodies, and the closing cover of folk rocker Tony Joe White's "Elements and Things" provides for the albums heaviest moments, chock full of menacing riffs, potent vocals, and swirling organ.

One thing that's instantly apparent on Lady in Gold is that Dorian Sorriaux's guitar is much more reserved than on their debut or their EP. Sure, he delivers plenty of tasty riffs and solos, but the album overall is less hard rocking than their prior material, and the presence of keyboards is much more pronounced. It might be time for the band to hire a full time keyboard player as a fifth member seeing the direction they are heading in here. That being said, the songs here are fantastic, the vocals of Elin Larsson impeccable (think Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Aretha Franklin, and Adele folks...she's a star in waiting!), and the musicianship rooted in classic sounds, all dripping with reverb, fuzz, and wah-wah that should make any fan of psychedelic blues rock & soul very happy.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1) Lady in Gold
2) Little Boy Preacher
3) Burned Out
4) I Felt a Change
5) Gone So Long
6) Bad Talkers
7) You Gotta Try
8) Won't Go Back
9) Rejection
10) Elements and Things

Added: September 11th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1237
Language: english

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