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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You Know What’s Not Crappy? Helms Alee, Motherfuckers!

posted by on February 12 at 12:06 PM

Q: Anyone listen to any good music lately?

A: I have, I have!

Helm’s Alee, my friends. They’re my new favorite thing. I wrote about their new vinyl EP in Underage a couple week’s ago:


Pressed on snow-white 12-inch vinyl, the new Helms Alee record is a four-song, one-sided EP. Side B is etched with a line drawing done by Faith Coloccia. The record’s sleeve is both printed and silk-screened, with black-and-white photography and dark-gray and white ink, respectively. You have to examine it to catch all the little details, like which parts are printed and which are painted—it’s pretty amazing.

Helms Alee are more than just pretty packaging—the band comprises just two girls and one guy, but they make more noise than most bands twice their size. The guy is Ben Verellen (he used to be in These Arms Are Snakes and Harkonen), one of the girls is Hozoji Roseanne Matheson-Margullis of Lozen, and the songs were recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles. With that kind of personnel, it’s no surprise that the music sounds amazing. The drumming takes cues from hardcore, the guitars swirl in and out of haunting breakdowns, and the songwriting is strong and compelling, a little reminiscent of the Pixies (I wonder if that’s just the male/female vocals talking, though).

The first time I heard “A Weirding Way” I just sat there. “Fuuuuuuuck” I thought. “Where do I start? What do I say about this?” I was speechless. I didn’t want to write about. I didn’t want to dissect it. I just wanted to listen to it over and over again. The drumming, the guitars… the chorus of vocals…. and then it all explodes! Boom!

And “Borrowed Wind” with the echoing urgent vocals straining themselves over the airtight, blistering drumming? Forgedaboudit. I restart the song before it’s over just so it doesn’t stop. It loops and loops over and over again in my head—I turn it up a little louder each time.

Click on over to their MySpace page to get an earful of greatness. I just can’t get enough. And they’re playing February 22 at El Corazon with These Arms Are Snakes, if you like what you hear. I am so stoked for that show.

RSS icon Comments


i agree with the part where you talked about how sweet helms alee are.

Posted by greg | February 12, 2008 10:25 PM

Helms Alee ARE sweet!

Posted by Dan | February 12, 2008 11:56 PM

One of the best bands in town.

Posted by bunnypuncher | February 13, 2008 10:09 PM

This band was pretty good when I saw them in Tacoma on May 6th last year. And took the copyrighted photo used above. So, um, you know, not asking for much, but... how's about a fucking credit for it?

I ain't trying to get uptight, and maybe it was unintentional... but, just saying.

Posted by sparkrobot | February 14, 2008 12:31 AM

@4: Sorry about that. I found the photo on the band's MySpace and there was no credit listed, so I wasn't sure who to give credit to. It wasn't done on purpose. Promise.

Posted by Megan Seling | February 14, 2008 2:54 PM

thanks for the update Megan.

Posted by sparkrobot | February 14, 2008 4:47 PM

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