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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Helms
McCarthy
Kimchee Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Walls of guitars swirl around and come crashing to a head over ominous but solid bass tones and serious attacks on the kit, cymbals flying everywhere. And within it all, a voice speaks, sings and yells the words that must be spoken. And so it goes with Helms. This Boston based band works in a genre of rock trailblazed by bands like Slint and June of 44. Helms change things up and do it with only three members, although you would never be able to tell from the epic waves they create and then embark upon.

The band is named after their bass player, Tina Helms, and the album after singer/guitarist Sean McCarthy and brother/drummer Dan McCarthy. Merry-go-round guitars chase each other like a snake swallowing its own tail and sometimes the subtly spoken vocals don't enter a song until over two minutes have passed, only to see the music lapse into silence before gunning its motors and starting up all over again. The song titles go on almost as long as the songs themselves... "At Night the Ringing Filled Their Rooms Like the Bells of Distant Churches" and "Robots are Great, but are we Ready for Them to Dance on Their Own?" are two examples. There is an intensity to it all and a constant sense of something about to burst forth, due to the tension created by the stark contrast between the false calmness of Sean's vocals and the tension bubbling up from Helms' rumbling rock. McCarthy gives you 50 minutes of that tension with barely a moment to relax, and it is invigorating like cold water.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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