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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Helix - 2004 Rockin' My Outer Space
 
Helix - 2004 Rockin' My Outer Space



ARTIST: Helix
ALBUM: Rockin' In My Outer Space
LABEL: Dirty Dog Records
SERIAL: -
YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Brian Vollmer - vocals * Shaun Sanders - guitars * Dan Fawcett - guitars * Jeff Fountain - bass * Archie Gamble - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Space Junk * 02 Rockin' In My Outer Space * 03 It's Hard To Feel The Sunshine? * 04 Six Feet Underground * 05 Lint and Pennies * 06 Everybody's Got There Cross To Bear * 07 Stumblin' Blind * 08 King Of The Hill * 09 The Ballad of Sam & Mary * 10 Panic * 11 Sunny Summer Daze

WEBLINKS: www.planethelix.com


Background
From small and meagre beginnings came Ontario rockers Helix. A couple of excellent low-key releases in the late seventies, followed by an extensive stint with Capitol Records, saw a multitude of album releases during the early-mid eighties. Taking commercial hard rock, chuck in some hair metal, and a fair portion of cheese and sleaze, and Helix became the ultimate party-rockers. Looking back it's hard to tell whether they truly broke out of their own backyard of Canada, but it seems they were well travelled on the US Arena circuit, thanks to the Capitol exposure. If you get to play with the likes of Kiss in support of their 'Lick It Up' tour and play alongside the likes of Night Ranger, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot and WASP, I guess you can say that you've made it. Come the 21st Century and all those memories are confined to the shoe box of yesteryear dreams. Try telling that to main-man Brian Vollmer, who still continues to rock our planet under the Helix banner, even as far ahead as 2004! 'Rockin' In My Outer Space' is a new record, with a new line-up, and err hmm.. a new sound? There is a modern/grungier aspect to their material but the guitar duo of Shaun Sanders and Dan Fawcett keep that long-standing Helix tradition of the two-guitar approach very much to the fore, despite the down-tuned sound.


The Songs
This album is all about 'attitude', and you hear it filter through on tracks such as 'King Of The Hill' and the unusual 'The Ballad Of Sam & Mary' - where Brian tells the tale of normal people having unusual sex lives (think whips and chains people..). Vollmer has always had a maniacal stage presence and it has occasionally permeated into the studio over the years. No different here, but again it's more a case of attitude than anything else. While the title track 'Rockin' In My Outer Space' comes across as an in-your-face anthem, the following track 'It's Hard To Feel The Sunshine' (when your heart is filled with rain) is apologetic and full of self-pity. When the band lighten up, they sound kinda cool.. 'Stumblin' Blind' and 'Six Feet Underground' are a couple of good examples, the latter taking a Guns N Roses wander down memory lane. The album ends with the whimsical ballad 'Sunny Summer Daze', an acoustic workout unlike the rest of the material on-board.


In Summary
As long as fans keep turning up to Helix gigs then Brian will keep the band ticking over. The band fit into the classic rock circuit thing quite well, though they are a bit rough around the edges and their down-tuned guitars don't tickle my feathers. There is enough purchasable paraphernalia on the Planet Helix website, but to be honest, I'm not sure that Helix's rough and ready sound circa 2004 will appeal to those bought up on those aforementioned Capitol recordings. Nice to see them in operation though and no doubt we'll see them again in the future.


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Helix - 1987 Wild In The Streets
Helix - 2004 Rockin' In My Outer Space


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