Friday, February 29, 2008

The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead

The Helio Sequence
Keep Your Eyes Ahead
(01.2008, SubPop)
Verdict: Helio's gone Dylan

The Helio Sequence is back in action with a 2008 release to blow all subsequent Helio Sequence releases to smithereens. The more I listen to this swirling hypnotic album, the more I am convinced that this is their crowning achievement. The songs have more structured melodies than before, but they're still pretty shoegaze. A soft fuzz covers the songs as always, but doesn't take away from the clarity of the objective. The songs are intoxicating and addictive. The most notable change on this album from ones in the past is Brandon Summers vocals. Supposedly after touring for Love and Distance Brandon suffered some heavy vocal chord damage, forever changing his tonal quality. After vocal therapy he figured out how to sing with this new damage, which resulted in Summers sounding incredibly similar to Bob Dylan. Although this is the most significant change in The Helio Seqence's sound, it is not what sets this album apart. It's the evolution of the already full sound that they have been producing into a cross genre complexity. Is it folk? Shoegaze? Dance music? Or, the all inclusive word, Pop? I guess we will never know. It's just enjoyable.


The Helio Sequence - "Can't Say No"

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