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The Quill: Live, New, Borrowed, Blue

The Quill are a Swedish hard rock/heavy metal band formed in 1990.

Since the release of their latest studio album, Earthrise (2021), bands around the globe have had to deal with plenty of down time. And whilst touring has been off the cards to a significant extent, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided The Quill with some time to dig back through their archives. In doing so they rediscovered a pile of unreleased material form recent album sessions, live performances, and one-off cover songs. The band felt strongly enough about this material that they decided it was worthy of a standalone release. The resulting album is entitled Live, New, Borrowed, Blue.

I’m not overly familiar with this band but despite my lack of history I still find plenty to like in this release. The selection of covers on this album (covering bands including Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, November & Captain Beyond) are really well done, staying relatively true to the original versions, but with enough of an original sound to make it an enjoyable listen. The list of bands covered also helps describe the Quill’s sound; an blend of classic rock and metal.

The live tracks on the album are well executed and help reinforce the quality of the band-faultless vocals and tight instrumentation is on show. A little taste of "Fairies Wear Boots" during their live meanderings in the rendition of "Hole in My Head" is a nice touch too.

Whist the covers are fun, and the live tracks are impressive, the original tracks "Keep on Moving" & "Children of the Sun" are the highlights of the release. "Children of the Sun" is especially great-classic in style and epic in its composition. Top marks.

If you’re a fan of classic sounding hard rock/heavy metal you could do far worse than give this album a play though. Its certainly whet my appetite to check out their back catalogue. This sort of ‘leftovers’ album is generally tailor made for die-hard fans, however I find it to be a good introduction to the band for a new fan like myself too.

Track Listing
1. Keep On Moving (Extended Version)
2. S.O.S. (Aerosmith cover)
3. Children of the Sun
4. Where Eagles Dare (Iron Maiden cover)
5. Keep It Together (Live)
6. Mount Everest (November cover)
7. Burning Tree
8. Frozen Over (Captain Beyond cover)
9. Hole in My Head (Live)

Added: January 30th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1099
Language: english

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The Quill: Live, New, Borrowed, Blue
Posted by Tom De Val, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-01-30 16:56:41
My Score:

Swedish stoner rockers The Quill have a history going back more than three decades, and have 10 studio albums to their name. Musically they occupy a similar niche to countrymen Spiritual Beggars, taking inspiration from the likes of Black Sabbath and legendary doomsters Trouble, but also the more traditional hard rock of Deep Purple. As the title implies, Live, New, Borrowed & Blue is something of a stop-gap following last year’s Earthrise studio offering. The ‘New’ comprises an extended version of “Keep On Moving”, from Earthrise -the ‘extended’ bit being mainly a lengthy guitar solo towards the end. There are also two tracks from the sessions, one of which (“Children Of The Sun”) is rather repetitive and definitely outstays it’s welcome at six minutes, quite easy to see why it was left off Earthrise. The ‘borrowed’ refers to covers dating back to compilations from the late 90’s which are mostly deleted by now. I never need hear another Iron Maiden cover again and The Quill’s version of “Where Eagles Dare” does nothing to change my mind, but the likes of “Frozen Over” ( originally by Captain Beyond) and “Mount Everest” (by November) work better, partly due no doubt to my not being familiar with the originals.

The two live tracks are from a performance at Sweden Rock festival in 2019. They show that the band can deliver the goods live, yet the version of “Hole In My Head” drags on for over 8 minutes and is derailed both by a snippet of Sabbath’s “Fairies Wear Boots” and a lot of interaction with the crowd, that left me reaching for the stop button.

Overall I think The Quill will acknowledge this release is meant for the hardcore fans rather than the more casual listener. The aforementioned Earthrise, a pretty decent album within the genre, is a better place to start for those interested in exploring this band.

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