A Ruff Guide to...Pilgrim Speakeasy Review by Noise.Fi
I must confess: I was truly confused the first time I played A Ruff Guide to...Pilgrim Speakeasy. A band coming from eastern Finland sounded like a succesful collision between Chris Connelly and Primal Scream.
In fact, Pilgrim Speakeasy is a one-man band built around a Scottish musician who has settled in Finland. There’s no accurate information on the gentleman’s identity, but the music speaks for itself. Above all, A Ruff Guide to... is the third full-length album by Pilgrim Speakeasy, but for some reason the earlier disks have slipped under my radar. That will definitely change, but for now, let’s concentrate on the new album.
The latest release is compiled of four intro-ish interlude tracks and fifteen proper songs, so no matter which way you look at it, the record offers a lot to listen to. In this sense, as well, everything is built around good ol’ rock. The songs groove funkily, drift in the mysterious waters of psychedelia, and during the long interludes Pilgrim Speakeasy even gets a bit prog in its own twisted way. Influences have also been adopted from the modern times, represented by electronic machines and samples prominent on some tracks. Although the atmosphere may change radically even within the same song, every insertion and addition seems natural.
A Ruff Guide to...Pilgrim Speakeasy makes the impossible possible and combines influences adopted from an enormous field and crafts them into a living, breathing entity – an album that sums up nearly everything ever done in rock into a new collage with mystic-political messages that drill straight into the listener’s brain.
– Mika Roth