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Helix - 1987 Wild In The Streets

ALBUM: Wild In The Streets
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: CDP 7 46920-2
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2003, EMI Canada, 46920 2 1 * 2011, Rock Candy Records, CANDY132
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Brian Vollmer - vocals * Paul Hackman - guitars, vocals * Brent Doerner - guitars, vocals * Daryl Gray - bass, keyboard, vocals * Greg 'Fritz' Hinz - drums, vocals

Additional Musicians: Don Airey, Sam Reid - keyboards * Mickey Curry, Brian Doerner, Matthew Frenette - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wild In The Streets * 02 Never Gonna Stop The Rock * 03 Dream On * 04 What Ya Bringin' To The Party * 05 High Voltage Kicks * 06 Give Em Hell * 07 Shot Full Of Love * 08 Love Hungry Eyes * 09 She's Too Tough * 10 Kiss It Goodbye


Canadian legends Helix have been around the block and back again. Arguably, their most successful period was during their Capitol/EMI days during the mid 80's. A couple of barnstorming albums typified their often bruising approach. 1985's 'Long Way To Heaven' saw the band move into a more mature polished sound, but their changed sound didn't convince the punters, so back they went to a full-on approach for what would be their final album for Capitol - 1987's 'Wild In The Street'. Produced in England, the album is a tale of two parts. One part produced by Mike Stone (Asia, New England, Queen).. actually he does eight of the ten tracks, the other two (tracks 1 and 6) by Neil Kernon (who needs no introduction on this site). An AOR dream team if ever there was one. Does it end up like that? No it doesn't. One look at the cover will tell you Helix have gone back to the streets to discover some RnR credibility. The music is metallic and cranky, anthemic, with a ton of shout-outs and chants. If you liked 'No Rest For The Wicked' or 'Walkin' The Razors Edge' then you'll lose nothing here.

The Songs
Their attitude is apparent from the 'get go' with the title track. Nothing earth shatteringly new or original, it's how we remember Helix at their best. 'Dream On' is a cover of the track that Scottish rockers Nazareth made popular. There is a video for this track as well. 'What Ya Bringing To The Party' is obviously full of (excuse the pun) 'party tricks' and has an anthemic flavour. 'High Voltage Kicks' is a bluesy number, one could assume to be a loose association to AC/DC, but only just, as Helix's version contains abundant harmony vocals, more than what Acca Dacca can provide. Shout-outs and chants a la Kiss fill out the sound on 'Give 'Em Hell', while the twin attack of Doerner and Hackman is all the rage on 'Shot Full Of Love', blazing their way to hell and back. 'Love Hungry Eyes' is less metal, more commercial rock with a serious edge, whereas the final pairing of 'She's Too Tough' and 'Kiss It Goodbye' typify Helix's gung-ho stance on hard rock/metal.

In Summary
'Wild In The Streets' sold reasonably well in their homeland Canada, but beyond that, failed to raise much attention, only reaching #179 on the US Billboard Charts. Consequently, Helix and Capitol Records parted company soon after, as did Brent Doerner - who threw the towel in. The band toured with Haywire during 1987 and played the odd date in the USA, but it became apparent to the band that the music scene was changing and Helix were struggling to stay relevant. But the band were far from finished, releasing albums well into the next decade. Even as far into the future as 2008 and 2009, Helix's stocks are still in demand, with Rock Candy Records re-releasing both 'No Rest For The Wicked' and 'Walkin' The Razors Edge' as collectors editions with bonus tracks, plus 'Long Way To Haven' and this one during 2011. Kudos to Brian Vollmer for keeping the band intact up to the current day.

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