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 » 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
Helicopter Helicopter
Wild Dogs with X-Ray Eyes
Initial Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I've learned to face the fact that I'm a sucker for basic rock and roll with solid pop fundamentals and energetic vocals, however I'm very difficult to impress. These conditions most likely stems from the fact that I'm creeping up on thirty years of age (not old, but old enough) and have seen so many musical trends come and go. Therefore, I always find myself coming back to the basics of good, solid rock. It's not very often that I really get into a CD, but damn, Helicopter Helicopter's new release, Wild Dogs with X-Ray Eyes has reeled me in.

This Boston based quartet consisting of the songwriting/guitar duo Chris Zerby and Julie Chadwick backed by Shawn Setaro, and David Foy have put together a phenomenally well-balanced album. All the pieces of this record fall neatly into place, without any harsh overproduction residue. Chris Zerby's vocals are not at odds with the music, they complement the sound and fit seamlessly into the songs. With the current musical landscape being so cluttered with garage revival, post-punk, hyphenated-crap style screaming or drunken vocals, it's refreshing to hear a singer, and hear it done well. On the tracks "August" and "1234", the lead vocal duties are passed onto Julie Chadwick without a hitch in the flow of the album. Not many bands can do this gracefully (let's not forget another famous Boston band that could...).

One aspect of Wild Dogs with X-Ray Eyes that stands out are the clever, but not for the sake of being clever, lyrics. Helicopter Helicopter crafts choruses that you will singing along to in your car even though you don't know the rest of the song (yeah, I'm guilty of that, too). The third track on the album, "Talented Socialite" is a particular favorite of mine with its perfect timing and lyrics such as: "You come on like a dream, silky and sweet, the king of nothing, the queen of porn, you wish that you'd never been born, you wish for nothing, you wish for sleep/You can haunt the air, but leave us alone".

Unlike the sound of many pop-rock bands, Helicopter Helicopter has a certain built-in credibility. You can enjoy them without tainting your own indie rock credentials (for those of you who worry about those sorts of things). Though there is a great deal of pop to this record, it is still muscular and is long on substance. Furthermore, they don't rely on too much fancy instrumentation, using the standard rock setup of two-guitars, bass, and a drummer line-up to create their product.

I know that I'm in danger of sounding like I'm attempting critical fellatio on Helicopter Helicopter, but if the point of a review is to tell you, lovely reader, my opinion of the record then I will say that it is great. If the point of a reviewing is an album is to help a potential listener decide whether to plunk down a portion of their college fund on an album or buy cheeseburgers, then I highly recommend buying this album and settling for a pop-tart. This band deserves your hard-earned buck.

Reviewed by John Peters
A former contributing writer for LAS, John married former music editor Sarah Iddings. That\'s the last we heard from him.

See other reviews by John Peters

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