Blues Pills: Lady In Gold (Nuclear Blast)
Lady In Gold is at the top of my 'most anticipated' list, the sophomore record from Swedish rockers Blues Pills, I've wanted this album since the first time I played the debut, my anticipation increased by the number of times I've seen the band live and their impressive live record, thankfully I no longer have to wait any longer as Lady In Gold has landed here at MoM towers and it's everything I wanted it to be and more. Blues Pills haven't skipped a beat for their second full length offering it's the same kind of blues based psych-tinged rock that they did so well on their debut evoking the spirit of Woodstock, The Doors, Cream, Jeff Beck Group and Big Brother & The Holding Company but they just take everything up a level, there is a more focused but experimental feel to this record, Dorian Sorriaux's guitar playing flows like an ancient river, he fluidly peels off stunning leads, deftly handling the guitar for great effect. Behind his impressive guitar-work, primary writer Zach Anderson's bass gives the crunch with dexterous playing and groove, his bass and Sorriaux's guitar are both individuals, Anderson's bass the main rhythm and Sorriaux playing intricate melodic leads over the top.
Kudos to producer Don Alsterberg for the authentic 60's sound, as added to the guitars on the title track especially are some great organs and synths which is an element to the bands sound that seems to have been a lot more pronounced on this effort, which is no bad thing. André Kvarnström takes his seat on the kit and gives and understated workman-like performance knowing when to put in a well-placed fill and when to give space to the other instruments and of course the vocals. Ah yes the vocals the most devastating weapon in Blues Pills' arsenal the bewitching articulation of Elin Larsson steals the show for a second time, she has a superior set of pipes traversing between hushed introspection on I Felt A Change which also has it's fair share of electric piano and kicks into the creeping Gone So Long.
As I've said there is a lot of different influences that rear their head a touch of country on Bad Talkers, some swaggering funk on You Gotta Try and as the record comes to it's end Won't Go Back injects a bit of Spector R&B with Elin full-on soulful blues rock belting backed harmonising with some girl group vocals. Lady In Gold is everything you'd expect and more, it's draws what it needs to from the debut and expands on it positively for another record of 10 tremendous songs. Buy it, play it, do it now!! 9/10
The Cadillac Three: Bury Me In My Boots (Big Machine)
Southern/country rock doesn't come much more authentic than the Nashville trio The Cadillac Three, frontman Jaren Johnston has co-written songs with many Country artists meaning that he knows his way around a barn dance. So this leads me on to this second album from his band The Cadillac Three it's a more subdued affair than their rockier debut, moving into the full country sound a lot more than before with White Lightning a great example of this with it's cool, blissed out, acoustic vibe full of banjo, while This Accent has a sparse percussive sound, courtesy of drummer Neil Mason, it has the earworm capability of the modern day King Of Leon displaying that Cadillac Three have expanded their remit a lot more than before. They still can rock though as The South has dirty guitar and a hard rock punch, it also features backing vocals from Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Mike Eli.
Many of the songs on this record will be familiar to anyone that picked up the Peace, Love & Dixie EP last year, with the funky Peace, Love & Dixie driven by Kelby Ray's Dobro and Johnson's shaking guitars, the lustful Hot Damn that name checks some rock n roll lotharios and has Kelby Ray sliding all over it and hip-shaking Party Like You is the third track from the EP on this record. However there are other tracks that have received heavy airplay that you may recognise Graffiti is a distinctly modern affair full of programming and massive sing along chorus, the Southern boy atmospheric ballad of Drunk Like You which speaks of the most addictive substance...women.
Loading a record with songs that have received a lot of airplay is a smart move on the band's part nonetheless some of the unheard tracks don't actually add much to the record, there is an element of things just being rehashed and a bit of filler being added on what is 14 track album. This record is a lot more country than their debut and it's better for it yes giving them a wider appeal away from the rock circles, there are too many tracks on this record with too many drawn from last years EP however The Cadillac Three have embraced their roots and Bury Me In My Boots points towards what's to come for the band. 7/10
Witch Tripper: Witch Tripper (Self Released)
Mansfield trio Witch Tripper are making big waves in the UK scene, competing in the East Midlands leg of the Metal 2 The Masses for the second consecutive year, meaning that they once again get to play the prestigious Bloodstock festival, this time winning the final so getting the chance to play on the New Blood stage (last time they played the smaller Jagermeister stage). After two years of relentless gigging (the band were formed in 2014) they have built up quite a fan base and everything seems to be heading in the right direction for the triumvirate as they have unleashed their debut album just in time for their second BOA show.
The band is made up of Jimmy Collins on drums, Stoff on bass and Richie Barlow on vocals/guitar, they play heavy stoner rock in the vein of Orange Goblin, Clutch and Dirty Beard (their previous band) so big slabs of riffage are front and center throughout the three piece rocking their beards off with heavy bass rhythms leading tracks such as You Get What You Pay For and putting the groove on Chills To The Bone, coupled with some excellent snare driven drumming from Served My Time and searing shredding guitar work on Shout! and Attitude Adjustment. Full of heavy rock riffs and whiskey soaked vocals Witch Tripper is pounding tour-de-force of pounding stoner rock. 8/10