Helicon: a ragged gang of guitar wielding scallywags who weave light from darkness and bring chaos to order. Discipline never sounded so undisciplined. Groove never felt so random.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of bands operating within this BJM / space-rock framework but Helicon are a band apart. The sheer size of their sound is overwhelming; noises produced then moulded; caressed then weaponised. Talking about individual elements of their songs and sound can be tricky as the sum is greater than the parts, when it all comes down, sense and reason are surrendered.
Helicon are a band with a large supply of EPs under their belts. Let’s head back to 2011 to take a look at one of the best: Take The Ride. ‘The Point Between Heaven And Hell’ is a ketamine tornado of whirling calamity, a long, bejewelled marathon of jangling guitars and hazy harmony. Starting with a dying helicopter, fading rotors glinting in the sun. Past 2 minutes the song shifts into angry life; methodical, stomping drums beat a bloodthirsty holler. Past 4 minutes a Jesus & Mary Chain meets Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’ vibe comes down, along with shoegaze vocals. Female backing vocals add a dreamy gloss. Spun with style and precise pacing this is an exquisite way to start the record.
‘Truth Or Consequences’ takes us deeper, with a heavy BJM groove. Over 7 minutes the waves of guitar build up enough pressure to make ears pop.
‘Hiding In The Shadows’ fuses what appears to be sitar and didgeridoo before kicking in with frisky drums and bold vocals. More fleet footed than the previous tracks but without trading in hypnotic patterns of mind control.
Superb stuff, and there’s plenty more where that came from…