Nick's Picks: 01 Damned If I Do; 02 You Don't Know; 08 Detoxing

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Pristine Detoxing :

Pristine is a group hailing from the arctic region of Norway, so I am finding it difficult to believe that a band coming from such a cold area creates such a smoking hot presence. Doubtless, it must be the band itself, but it helps to record at the famous Juke Joint Studio in Notodden, Norway. Pristine, with the charismatic redhead Heidi Solheim in front, forges on with power, passion and intensity. This cd blends and transcends rock, blues, soul, prog-rock, and funk. The first cut on this cd ("Damned If I Do") takes a page from the Joe Bonamassa style of blues, and it just soars - higher and higher! And throughout this first cut we are treated to Heidi Solheim's haunting vocals. On the second cut ("You Don't Know"), we are treated to a funky high-performance guitar solo, accompanied by driving percussion, 'just under the radar' B3 background, and gritty, heartfelt vocals. The third cut ("Breaking Bad") comes straight from the Stevie Ray Vaughn genre of Texas Blues - complete with driving back-beat. This is one of my favorite styles of blues, and Heidi and company deliver in spades. The next cut ("Whipping Post") is a cover of a song written by the prolific Greg Allman - what an awesome cover! The bass, the B3, and the guitar just reverb, and Heidi gives it that he-done-me-wrong-so-I must've-done-somethin'-wrong-song a gritty, bleary feeling. Even though there are only nine (9) tracks on this cd, each song averages a lengthy five (5) minutes, with the title cut ("Detoxing") cruising along at a psychedelic eleven minutes, sixteen seconds (11:16). This cut just begs a Door's comparison, simply because of the parallels of beat/rhythm, singsong build-up, and the existential content. (I am referring here to that excruciatingly drawn-out "The End" performance by The Doors). From wonderful guitar solos and smooth vocals of singer/songwriter Heidi Solheim, through the classic keyboard accompaniment to rock solid bass and percussive rhythms, this is simply an outstanding presentation. As the title of the disc suggests, Detoxing is what I'll have to do after listening to this for a few hours. (And perhaps a little decompression wouldn't hurt, either). And that's my two nickels' worth........................Nick

Pristines music has strong roots in blues and 70s rock. In addition to traditional blues, Heidi & Pristine draw inspiration from the likes of The Faces, Grand Funk Railroad, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Keys, Cream, Led Zeppelin. Which is very noticeable on the 2011 debut album "Detoxing". The album was barely released before the accolades from the national press started pouring in: "Pristine is so self-confident that it borders on arrogance", "Detoxing" is a record that is both true to the genre and innovative enough to rejuvenate a genre that can be experienced as rigid and old-fashioned." (, 5/6) "A very convincing debut (album)." (Dagbladet, 5/6) Heidi has frequently been compared to Beth Hart, Dana Fuchs and Janiva Magness.

The Musicians:

・ Heidi Solheim - savant songwriter, vocalist par excellence

・ Espen Elverum Jakobsen - guitarist extraordinaire

・ Anders Oskal - Hammond and clavinet genius

・ Asmund Wilter Eriksson Ericsson - driving bass

・ Kim Karlsen - drums, pacing percussion

Special Guest Musicians:

・ Knut Reiersrud - guitar (tracks 7, 9)

・ Petter Marius Gundersen - trumpet

・ Andreas Mjos - percussion

The Songs:

(Note: all except track 4 written by Heidi Solheim)

1. Damned If I Do

2. You Don't Know

3. Breaking Bad

4. Whipping Post (G. Allman)

5. The Countdown

6. Damage Is Done

7. The Last Day

8. Detoxing

9. The Blind

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.