Blues Pills are Swedish vocalist Elin Larsson, 17-year-old French guitarist Dorian Sorriaux and Americans Zack Anderson on bass and Cory Berry on drums. A psych-blues phenomenon in the making, Blues Pills transport the listener back to the era of Easy Rider, James Marshall Hendrix, free love and acres of tie-dyed cheesecloth.
Hang on a sec, how can a band mostly in their 20s sound so damn authentic?
Good question. For starters they record in analogue rather than digital, which means that when you slap on that vinyl – of course it’s available on CD, but let’s keep the analogue theme going here – you’re bathed in the warm glow of a thousand lava lamps. And then there’s the amazing chemistry on display.
We are talking of the songwriting and playing variety, are we not?
But of course. Larsson is a big fan of Etta James and Aretha Franklin, Sorriaux’s playing harks back to Jimmy Page, Rory Gallagher and Pete Green, to name but three legends, and Anderson and Berry nail the rhythm end down with the heavyweight ferocity of, say, Grand Funk Railroad or Mountain. Just check out the ominous rumble of High Class Woman, the fluid, driving groove of Ain’t No Change and fuzzed up tumble of Jupiter – and those are just the first three tracks.
Sounds like we’re dealing with a simple pastiche here – some kids’ take on what they think the golden age of psychedelic blues sounded like.
Not a fair assessment at all, my friend. True, the vibe is relentlessly of the era, but such attention to detail only comes from true affection for the source, and we defy anyone with functioning ears not to be swept along by the passion evident in the likes of Black Smoke or the rather magnificent cover of Chubby Checker’s _Gypsy _(see exclusive video, below), which Larsson truly makes her own. For all the delving into the past for inspiration you also have to remember that we’re still dealing with a modern band, so there’s nothing remotely wobbly about the quality – this is very much an up-to-date outfit immersing themselves in the artistic values and atmospherics of the 60s and early 70s. It’s all about conjuring up an inclusive soulful vibe and communing with the mysteries of the sonic cosmos, man.
OK, we get it. Anything else we should bear in mind?
Just remember the ‘s’ in Blues when you Google them – otherwise you’ll end up with pills of an entirely different variety.
_Blues Pills is out today. _