Review: Big Boy Bloater & The Limits – Pills
Provogue / Mascot Label Records (June 2018)
Reviewer: Steve Borkowski
With today’s blues scene seemingly saturated with blues/rock power trios and guitarist front-men playing everlasting solos with painstaking looks on their faces, it’s quite refreshing when something different comes along to shake things up.
For the unfamiliar, Big Boy Bloater lives up to his name, a big man with a big voice, a husky, hoarse growl… think Tom Waits meets Howlin’ Wolf. The other thing worth noting is that BBB has a massive personality and sense of humour.
With so many artists taking themselves too seriously, Bloat’s tongue is always firmly in his cheek and this comes through in his lyrics which are always clever and humorous and often topical, from society’s reliance on modern medicine to cure pretty much every ailment imaginable in the title track ‘Pills‘, to the pop at shady agents promising a big break in ‘Stop Stringing Me Along‘ which is the closest thing to a ballad on the album and the honky-tonk roll and roll of ‘Oops Sorry‘ which is a humorous take on a ruined relationship.
Add in titles like ‘Friday Night’s Alright For Drinking‘, ‘Slackers Paradise‘ and ‘Unnaturally Charming‘ and you get the idea of what to expect.
Musically, you get a multitude of influences from old school rockabilly, Louisiana Swamp Blues, slide heavy, groove filled blues/rock and even blues tinged pub rock, but what you won’t find are long guitar solos or loads of heartfelt ballads. This is an upbeat feel good blues album for non blues fans, that continues in the same vein as Luxury Hobo.
Forget taking pills, buy it, this album is a surefire cure for the blues.