Blues Pills – Blues Pills
Once upon a time, you could get away with this sort of histrionic blues-rock. Back then, of course, it was a logical progression from the hip-shaking immediacy of pop; an exploration of roots that birthed some fascinatingly wondrous treats (Hendrix’ demented psych-blues, the ragged throat of Janis Joplin) and some incredibly tedious awfulness (Eric fucking Clapton and his disciples). That’s where multinational foursome Blues Pills come in.
Positives first: they’re solid musicians, building from the groove up, and singer Elin Larsson certainly packs an impressive punch. In another time, you’d call ‘em contenders, but therein lies the problem. To 21st century ears, this pursuit of so-called ‘authenticity’ ironically comes across as over-rehearsed theatre – pop’s seen, heard and done too much for these paleontological exercises to work. “I’ve tried to find myself,” Larsson hollers on Gypsy, channelling some vague simulacrum of soulful anguish. Maybe try looking elsewhere, because this prescription of fake nostalgia ain’t gonna cure no ills. [Will Fitzpatrick]