Wille & The Bandits are much more than a usual blues rock band. Their songs mix a lot of elements, including echoes, noises, synthesizers, furthering the traditional blues rock toolbox. After acclaimed gigs through several European festivals as well as the album Paths (2019), they are now releasing their eighth full album When The World Stood Still. And they double their bets on bringing fuzzy and non-classical tunes.
“Caught In The Middle” summarizes this approach, mixing hip-hop-like vocals, choirs, and a sentimental acoustic guitar solo. All of this results in a massive and present tune. Keeping their productive experimentation, “I’m Alive” is furnished with other elements like out-of-phase guitars and vibratos. The bass & drums hold the pace in the background while setting free all the other instruments to add new layers to the song. “Without You” calmly starts over acoustic sounds and features alternating noisy moments led by the expressive Wille’s vocals.
Previously released as a single, “Good Stuff” uses a good chord sequence as the main riff that flows to an equally detached chorus. This song has a more pronounced pop aspect as well as a nice slide guitar solo. “In This Together” brings an unusual rhythm compared to other tracks of the album, although it keeps in the same pop trail that we mentioned. Slide guitar is one of the instruments which characterizes Wille & The Bandits’ sound. And it’s the main tone in “Will We Ever”. The self-titled track goes in an opposite way, betting in a more emotive vocal and totally calm climate. The piano chords and smooth slides contribute in that sense.
“Move Too Fast” holds in a funky mood evolving through a wah-wah background until it reaches a thoughtful interlude where the slides assume the main role in the solo. The funky approach is also present in “Broken Words” although in a more sublime way. “Daylight” and “Refuge” bring the album back to rock territory. In these songs the effects and the alternation between light and shadows are the highlights, putting coal to the forge. The last song is “Solid Ground”. Totally introspective, it wraps up the album with soulful vocals and intensive clean guitar solos.
On When The World Stood Still the choice of tunes, rhythms, sounds, and effects is flawless, as it was in the previous albums by the band. I think that’s one of the main achievements of the band. They grab the blues, embody the rock, but also flirt with a bunch of elements that make their sound unique.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Caught In The Middle
– I’m Alive
– Good Stuff
– Solid Ground
The Big Hit
– Caught In The Middle