Heavy Metal gods Iron Maiden have announced, along with their label, Parlophone Records, they will continue its reissues series of the Iron Maiden catalog with the fifth set of digipak CD titles in The Live Collection – Remastered, to be released on June 19. The albums included in this release are the seminal live recordings Live After Death and Rock In Rio.Continue reading
The first thing that strikes you during the sumptuous, slow-build to opening track ‘Slip To The Void’ is how perfect the marriage of Alter Bridge and The Parallax Orchestra is; Myles Kennedy’s vulnerable, melancholic introduction is subtly embellished by the swells of strings before the dramatic introduction of the guitars and the rest of the band is powerfully bolstered for the heavy verse, with perfect accentuation following on the middle eight.Continue reading
When I was a kid, the live album was a thing of wonder. If you hadn’t ever been to a live show, the sound of the audience cheering across some of the best songs of your favourite artist was the passport to another world; a world of impossible glamour and excitement, of thrills and spills, where dreams came true and days never ended. If you had been to a show it could act as a wonderful souvenir, a memory jerking memento of the best gigs you’d ever been to: think Iron Maiden‘s Live After Death (EMI), Scorpions‘ World Wide Live (Mercury). Like I said: wonderful.
So why is it that I’m left with a particularly empty feeling after spending time with Blues Pills Live album (Nuclear Blast)? It’s not that Blues Pills are a poor act or indeed that their performance on this record is substandard. If anything, this live album underscores just how good a band they are: rich and nuanced with an elemental talent that you cannot help but warm to. It’s not that the recording is poor or muddied: on the contrary, the musicianship is exemplary, the vocals deep, authentic and occasionally haunting.
So what is it? Clearly I’ve grown: not necessarily “up” but grown nonetheless so that need for the passport to another world is no longer as pronounced as it was. Notwithstanding, I still believe in the power of rock’n’roll to transcend the everyday, to bring magic to the mundane and joy to the joyless. Blues Pills Live feels anything but. It’s the classic record company cash in: I would understand if this was an act as the end of their career, squeezing the last bit of juice out of the fans before saying a long farewell. But Blues Pills are at the start of their hopefully lengthy career. They have one, repeat, one stellar record to their name. In rock n roll they are barely out of the starting blocks let alone reaching the finishing tape. They don’t have enough material for this to be a greatest hits set and so what you’re left with is just a decent live recording. And that’s it. Above all, Blues Pills Live feels cheap and cynical: far from what I thought this organic and warm band were.
Blues Pills Live is, to paraphrase the writer Mark Ellen, a waste of talent and electricity. Save your money and buy a ticket for their gigs. If you really need a souvenir, their psychedelic t-shirts are quite nice.
(for the music, 3/10 for the concept)