Band: Helen Kelter Skelter
Album: Helen Kelter Skelter (2015)
Genre: Psychedelic / Folk / Blues / Rock / Shoegaze
City: Norman, OK
Standout tracks: Helouisa, You’ll Get Your Money Back, Great Big Shining Hand,
Seen live: yes
** ***Disclaimer!*** **
- I do not normally do reviews on out of town bands, however, this band has played Wichita frequently and often enough that I consider them a part of our music scene.
- I do not normally do reviews on albums that are this old, but I wanted to do a review of this band because they have a show coming up in Wichita (FaceBook Event Page), and this is their most recently released album.
** *** !!! *** **
Bands I think they pair well with: New Imperialism, Vehicles, Sun & Stone, Sloan Moon, Elephants of Atlantis.
Something I noticed immediately when listening to this album, is that they don’t quite sound like their recordings live. It might be the vocal effects and the mix are different. You can’t always control your live sound, I understand that. I will admit that I like them better live, however. Their live performance had a lot of energy. A lot of the songs on this album are laid back and laissez faire. Its not a bad thing exactly. It makes the songs flow together very well. It was a bit of a surprise though, as I bought the album expecting one thing, and when I listened to it, I had to double check that it was the correct band.
Helouisa is an interesting song. The drums at the beginning originally reminded me of a country song. But listen a little longer is has a middle-eastern style of riff. But the bass has a drone style like from Indian mantra music. Honestly its just so unique, there is no way it could not be a highlight. The effects on this song seem well thought out. When you start listening you are just kinda like “wtf is this song?!” But as you listen in more carefully, you start to get into it and it vibes really well. (I know that sounds weird, but listen to it on their BandCamp and see for yourself!)
“You’ll Get Your Money Back” has a driving rhythm that creates a certain mood. It gives it a certain, Je Ne Sais Quoi. Similar sound to some Sun & Stone that I love. When both of these bands play together its always an amazing show. At 2:48 – 3:21, You can hear the keyboardist take over the melody for a bit here. Pay attention to the layers though. The bass, both guitars, keyboard. This section is just spectacularly mesmerizing. The guitar comes in harder with a solo to bring it back into the main riff. GOD DAMN that is fuckin’ tasty! Just thinking about listening to that song live gets me pumped.
Great Big Shining Hand is another great song from this album. I’m going to be honest. I really like this song for the bass groove. The fuzzy tone and the bouncy rhythmic beat just makes you want to dance. As a bassist I can listen to that groove for hours. At 2:49 it took me a second to realize that there is 2 guitars playing that solo harmonizing. They are bouncing off each other and it creates a real unique listening experience.
They are also playing at Kirby’s with Flashpoint and Riot Nurse Friday June 9th. (Facebook Event Page) Make sure to check them out on their media platforms. (links provided) Hope to see you all at the show!