British blues singer/guitarist Big Boy Bloater is back with the follow up to 2016’s hugely successful Luxury Hobo.
Pills was recorded in December 2017 with producer Adam Whalley. For this release, the band trimmed down to a power trio of Big Boy Bloater (Vocals/Guitar), Matt Cowley (Drums) and Steven Oates (Bass).
With Pills, the Surrey-born bluesman picks up from where Luxury Hobo left off. Following a bout of depression in the lead up to his last album, Bloater approaches his new album with a clearer head, an open mind and more in tune with the things going on around him. These observations feed into his songwriting throughout the twelve incredible blues numbers featured on the album.
The opening/title track is unmistakably Big Boy Bloater. Those powerful yet gritty Tom Waits-esque vocals and his distinctive old-school blues-rock sound provide the perfect opening to the album. However, the track does have some dark undertones which in turn carry a serious message. Bloater reflects on our dependency on as the song/album title puts it “Pills” and this track in particular highlights this important issue.
On the other hand “Friday Night’s Alright For Drinking” is a slide fuelled, groove-heavy blues-rock number which features a huge joyous gospel-tinged chorus. The track is packed full of catchy hooks, and there’s even a subtle nod to Freddie King.
Up-tempo numbers like “The Saturday Night Desperation Shuffle” and “This Ain’t Rufus” certainly make you want to dance. With its fast-paced rhythm and searing guitar licks, the latter conjures up images of the late great Chuck Berry.
Bloater showcases a different side of his repertoire with the acoustic ballad “Stop Stringing Me Along”, the ukulele infused “A Life Of Debt” and funky blues number “The Digital Number Of The Beast”. On the other hand, the somewhat slower and atmospheric sounds of “Mouse Organ” would be perfectly suited to a film score.
“Oops Sorry” is a blistering slice of honky-tonk rock n roll, whereas “She Didn’t Even Buy A Ticket,” tells the humorous and somewhat raucous story of a gig crasher who caught their partner red-handed at one of Bloater’s shows.
Throughout Pills, the British bluesman draws upon a multitude of real-life experiences spanning a wide variety of topical subjects whilst traversing the whole spectrum of the blues-rock arena. With Big Boy Bloater’s superb new album you certainly won’t be left with a case of the blues.
Big Boy Bloater & The LiMiTs will be releasing their brand new album Pills on June 15th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group with a full headline tour supporting the release commencing on the 6th September at The Maze in Nottingham.