The long over-due and highly anticipated release from Helix is finally out. I have been waiting for a new cd from them for sometime so my expectations were quite high for this release. Brian Vollmer is the only original member left in the band but it is his driving force and distinctive vocals that give the band its own easily recognizable sound. On this cd he gets help on one track from former guitarist Brent “The Doctor” Doerner.
With my expectations set high I popped in this disc as soon as it arrived. Much to my satisfaction the album doesn’t disappoint in the least. There is no weak or bad tracks to be heard anywhere on it. Being a fan since I first heard “Rock You” and “Heavy Metal Love” back in the early 80’s I have always liked this band and rank them in my top bands of all-time. With that said I’ll go through this cd pretty well track by track.
Space Junk – An instrumental intro to the title track. Written and performed by Reiner Weichmann from Newfoundland who also plays on the cd and produced it. Sort of a futuristic instrumental with a space-age feel to it. Sets the atmosphere for the title track as well as the rest of the disc.
Rockin’ In My Outer Space – An upbeat rocker that shows that Brian and company have still got what it takes to put out one amazing hard rockin’ album.
It’s Hard To Feel The Sunshine When Your Heart Is Filled With Rain – Starts off with distorted/echoic vocals then cuts into clearer ones and the bass and drum just nail you at that point. It’s a more mid-tempo song but the steady drum and solid bass line give it that heavy feel. Also the harmonica has got to be a first for Helix as I cannot recall them ever using one on a cd before.
Six Feet Underground – The first single that was released to radio stations. A slight bit slower than I expected to be for the first single but still not slow enough to be considered a ballad. Another first for the band here as this one features trumpets. Yes you heard it right. Trumpets. It creates the perfect companion to Brian’s vocals, gives the song a sort of mid to late 60’s Beatles feel.
Lint and Pennies – Total classic Helix feel here. Hard hitting drums and excellent guitar work. The background vocals are nothing short of breathtaking. Cheryl Lescom does a stupendous job on the back-ups. Almost like a blues and gospel singer. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it sounds amazing and had to have sounded phenomenal in the studio. Great overall feel to the song, hard rockin beat and killer guitar.
Everybody’s Got There Cross To Bear – Starts off with a bit of a Soundgarden guitar tone with heavier bass and drum sounds. Add in great whiskey soaked vocals and you got one hell of a song. This is one that is made to be played live in a smoke filled club towards the end of the night.
Stumblin’ Blind – One of the ballad’s on the album with great harmonies and amazing background vocals. A slight departure for the Helix sound as it contains cello and violin. It is not done in an over the top way but adds tremendously to the song taking them to the next level. Top this off with great vocals, lyrics and rhythm section and you have the makings of another great tune.
King Of The Hill – A reworked song from Brian’s solo cd from a couple year’s back. This time it sound’s heavier and more complete. This is probably the heaviest track on the disc and has some great guitar work done by Bill Gadd and Reiner Weichmann.
The Ballad of Sam & Mary – Great tongue in cheek lyrics and story here. Solid drums and crunchy guitar here you’d almost swear you are back in the late 80’s it’s that good. One of the best tracks on the album. A heavy rocker that grabs you at the start and keeps you until the end.
Panic – Straight ahead RnR here with heavy in your face bass. Great lyric’s that give an outlook on life like “don’t get your shit in a knot” and “chill out, there’s always prozac” . Garanteed to put a smile on your face. The song speeds up like a record on 45 at the end and blends perfectly into the next track.
Sunny Summer Daze – The acoustic track on the album which for the most part is Brian singing and Rainer on acoustic except for the solo which is quite bluesy and played by former longtime Helix guitarist Brent “The Doctor” Doerner. An excellent closure to an excellent record.
An all around great cd. Not a disappointing track here. Only 2 minor complaints that have nothing todo with the music is that it is too short a record. I just wish it was longer. The second is more of a question rather than a complaint. That is why is there 2 Helix logo’s on the cover? The main one would’ve sufficed IMO. But that’s just me. Go out and order this album.
And as the liner notes say “TRUE HELIX FANS DO NOT DOWNLOAD”
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