Blast Lane – Adventures In Modern Blues
Self-Release – 2019
8 tracks; 48 minutes
Blast Lane is a district of Sheffield in Yorkshire, UK and gives this band their name. On their debut CD all the material was written, arranged and performed by the band which is Chillo Angelini (guitar/vocals), Allen Walton (bass/B/V’s) and Steve Crewe (drums/keyboards and studio engineer). From the band’s Facebook page it looks as if they play mainly in their local area but, as they are also recording a second album, no doubt hope to expand out from there.
The music here is firmly blues-rock and harks back to British bands like Free, Purple and Zeppelin – lots of chunky riffs, brooding bass and solid drums behind Chillo’s gruff vocals. The band’s PR sheet proclaims that this is ‘Blues-Rock as it should be’ and that seems a pretty fair description.
Bright guitar chords with lots of echo open “Help Me”, Chillo asking someone to help him “turn my life around”, the song developing into a good slow rocker. “Things ain’t always what they appear” sings Chillo as he explains that “The Devil Is A Woman”, a heavy, jagged tune. The ‘b’ word appears in the title of the next song, “Blues Came Along” which starts with a wash of cymbals and echoey guitar before developing an attractive, loping rhythm with some good harmonies. There is a short tease of Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” at the beginning of “Red”, a plodding rocker that pays tribute to a redhead with distorted vocals on the first verse; Chillo’s solo on “Say Goodbye” uses plenty of agonized wah-wah tone to underline the angst of the song.
The lengthy “Long Way From Home” has some diverse influences, combining Pink Floyd sound effects (is that a theremin in the background?) and Chillo’s vocals low in the mix, then developing into a tune with some good harmonies that recall CSNY. The last two numbers are slower-paced, enabling us to hear Chillo’s vocals rather better than on the heavier tunes: “Fight Another Day” features a good rock-influenced guitar solo set against a background of keys while “The Last Forever” finds Chillo playing in a relaxed, country-tinged style before he sets off on a full-throttle rave-up on the coda.
The UK scene has a lot of blues-rockers and these guys have the advantage of writing their own material and would, one imagines, offer a good live experience. There is not much here that a traditional blues fan would want to hear but those who enjoy the rockier end of the spectrum should check this one out.