Give Brian Vollmer credit. When it seems every other established rock band is questioning the validity of releasing new product, Vollmer drags his Helix band mates together – and with substantial song writing, and performance assistance from former lead guitarist Sean Kelly, has fashioned a record that reflects back on the band’s past glories. Yes rock records may be passe when it comes to radio exposure yet there are tracks on this 11-song opus that would be monster hits during previous eras, and could still find their way onto progressive rock play lists. The most noticeable track being “Winning Is The Best Revenge”, a sure-fire hit with a great power-rock arrangement, catchy lyrics and an irresistible vocal hook – possibly one of the best songs this Kitchener-based band has ever recorded. And there’s more treats; the cool shuffle-rock beat of “Sticks & Stones”, the catchy repeat harmonies on “Metal At Midnight”, the infectious guitar arrangement on “Skin In The Game” and the lead vocal debut of bassist Daryl Gray on his own melodic “When All The Love Is Gone”.
No, Brian Vollmer hasn’t lost an octave on lead vocals and band members; Gray, drummer Greg (Fritz) Hinz and dual guitarists Kaleb Duck and Chris Julke are still relevant. Yet it’s the cutting edge lyrical and instrumental injection that Sean Kelly adds to the song arrangements that really ignite this record. Vollmer and Kelly obviously work well together and it’s this partnership which may have revitalized Helix as an on-going force in the revitalization of classic rock in this country. For a band that continues to hang in there,` Bastard Of The Blues’, and in particular that “Winning Is The Best Revenge” track, deserve plenty of radio recognition.
Download: “Winning Is The Best Revenge”,” When All The Love Is Gone”, “Metal At Midnight”