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Helix
Bastard Of The Blues
June 2014
Released: 2014, Helix Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

This is the 13th album from Canadian icons Helix and it ranks up there with the Classic albums. While I will always rank the 80’s Helix above anything, especially LONGWAY TO HEAVEN and this is the closest Brian has come since. Not to knock what he has done since as they are all great releases and I love them all, this one just struck a chord. It has a bit more of that classic feel to it.



Kicking off the CD is the title track which contains some amazing vocals by Brian and Special Guests that include former Helix bassist Jeff “Stan” Fountain. This is possibly the band’s biggest production to date? Those background’s coupled with Vollmer’s voice make for one huge sound through your speakers. Next up is a prime example where reality is the basis for entertainment. The lyrics for “Even Jesus (Wasn’t Loved In His Hometown)” tells the story of Helix and how the local radio will not support their own. This is Brian’s fun little jab at his hometown radio. I wonder if he is out for a 1-2 Punch lyrically with the next song, “Winning Is The Best Revenge”? For “Screamin’ At The Moon” he gets a little help from Famous Underground (and former Slik Toxik) vocalist Nick Walsh on background vocals. This song has a bit of that Classic 80’s Helix vibe to it. That Classic vibe is even stronger on “Metal At Midnight” which is my personal favorite on the album. It’s a song that could’ve been on WILD IN THE STREETS. The drums and guitar really hit you as the song begins. Kalebs guitar playing really sounds good here. He has the perfect amount of crunch for the song. The bass and drums really have that old groove to them, Fritz and Daryl are in the zone here. Speaking of Daryl, on this album he makes his lead vocal appearance on “When All The Love Is Gone” which is the mellow track of the album. He does an exceptional job on this and after hearing him sing lead it is clear as to why he was so important to those harmonies. Next up is a trio of songs from the SKIN IN THE GAME EP. before closing out the disc with “Sticks and Stones” which is another slightly different number for the band that features some really funky bass. This fast paced tune really caught me by surprise. At first the bass reminded me of Anthrax’s cover of “Got The Time”. A great closer to an excellent CD.



For longtime followers of the band you will love this album. For those of you that may have jumped ship in 1990 this is where you get back on and rediscover the band that you loved all those years ago. Helix have never really stopped in their 40 year existence and BASTARD OF THE BLUES proves how great a band they are.
Track Listing

Bastard Of The Blues
Even Jesus (Wasn't Loved In His Hometown)
Winning Is The Best Revenge
Screamin' At The Moon
Metal At Midnight
Hellbound For A Heartbreak
When All The Love Is Gone
Axe To Grind
Skin In The Game
The Bitch Is A Bullet
Sticks & Stones

Lineup

Brian Vollmer - Vocals
Daryl Gray - Bass, Vocals
Greg "Fritz" Hinz - Drums
Kaleb Duck - Guitar
Chris Julke - Guitar


Next review: » Helix - Get Up!
Previous review: » Helix - Back For Another Taste





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