A sparkling cracker of an album

With their latest album Blues Pills take a slight turn in their musical direction, adding a deep vein of soul into their blues-laced psychedelia. If that means they’ve taken a step back from the hard rocking vibe of previous issues then it matters not, because Lady in Gold is a sparkling cracker of an album, as much in tune with the band’s influences as it is with their solid interpretation of them.

Dorrian Sorriaux’s guitar has been dialled back a little on Lady in Gold, but only to give emphasis to Elin Larson’s astonishing vocals and to allow their sound to expand, the rich flavours of keys and Mellotron adding further psychedlic depths to their established oeuvre. The deceptively dark title track sets the intensity level , stepping it up further with the sassy rock and roll of “Little Boy Preacher”; as they go forward into the album Blue Pills mine their inspirations further, allowing Larson to present the stunning Gospel homage ‘I Felt a Change’, that comes in after the slow-burn of ‘Burned Out’ and segues into the luscious ‘Gone So Long’. ‘You Gotta Try’ busts out a funk element while leaning into the heaviness of their debut, elsewhere there are swirls and swathes of organ that teeter on the brink of complete psychedelic freak out until a deft guitar line from Sorriaux steadies the course again for Larson to do something amazing once again. On the Tony Joe White cover ‘Elements and Things’, Blues Pills bring it all home with the energy and urgency of their famed live appearances.

This is a remarkable album. Rock music is in great hands with Blues Pills looking after it.

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