Helix – The Power Of Rock And Roll (2007, Perris Records)
Fill Your Head With Rock
Nickels And Dimes
The Past Is Back (To Kick Your Ass!)
Eat My Dust
Baby Likes To Ride
Living Life Large
The Power Of Rock ’N Roll
Heavy Metal Love 2006 (bonus track)
Brian Vollmer – Vocals
Steve Georgakopoulos – Guitars
Jeff Fountain – Bass
Rob MacEachern – Drums
Producer: Gord Prior
Total Time = 33:05
I first discovered Helix back in 1983 when I picked up a cassette tape of NO REST FOR THE WICKED after hearing ‘Heavy Metal Love’ on the radio. I followed the band throughout the ’80s but I eventually lost track of the band. Thankfully, the Internet plugged me back in and I find that Brian Vollmer (lead singer, founding member) still continued to Rock. Vollmer opened up PlanetHelix.com to promote the history of one of Canada’s Hard Rock icons and the growing buzz among fans, and industry types, helped bring a new record to long time diehards and a new generation ready for straight ahead, no nonsense, Hard Rock.
THE POWER OF ROCK AND ROLL is actually a reissue of GET UP!, a late ’06/early ’07 limited edition unmastered pre-release, plus four new songs. Unfortunately, I was a little slow to purchase GET UP! and now it’s a sold-out collector’s item. The good news is that Vollmer and co. have hooked up with Perris Records and released the full length record in the U.S.
‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ opens the album with a fist-pumpin’ groove that immeadiately kicks things into high gear. It’s a short song but the barroom boogie rock and stylish guitar solos drive the track to anthem status. ‘Get Up!’ continues the party with a catchy chorus and AC/DC-like rhythms. The best thing about Helix back in the day was that they just came out and played their brand of Rock, regardless of trends. Two songs in and the album is already an instant party just like the old days.
My favorite song on the album is ‘Nickels And Dimes’, another fast rocker, takes me right back to the early ’80s when Hard Rock was king. I hate to keep mentioning the band’s “classic style” but, when you’ve done the same thing so well for over 30 years, it’s hard to not follow the same successful formula. Screaming guitars all over this track and Brian sounds as strong as he did way back in the glory days. ‘The Past Is Back To Kick Your Ass’ has a sleazy groove that kicks into gear come the chorus and ‘Eat My Dust’ is a speedy rocker that opens with a riff that comes from Eddie Van Halen’s playbook and hits you in the face. I really dig ‘Baby Likes To Ride’ because it’s got that old school Helix vibe to it and it pulls the listener in with a hooky delivery and laid back, almost bluesy, style.
‘Boomerang Lover’ has a really cool bass line and the vocals are very laid back and cool while ‘Cyberspace Girl’ starts kind of subdued but with a chugging underlying riff and then kicks back in comes the chorus. Clever lyrics. ‘Livin’ Life Large’ sounds like some of the other somgs on the album but it’s still a party rocker with a catchy chorus. I really like the title track. It’s basically a song about Vollmer’s life in Rock and it’s got a great sound, definitely a track made for concerts. it even has a little crowd noise pumped in at the break 3 minutes in!
Capping off the party is the 2007 version of ‘Heavy Metal Love’. Now this is the song that got me hooked on the band so I’m going to be critical. Everyone know my disappointment when an album has a cover song but I have this soft spot for a band remaking their own songs, I usually like the new translation. This version is almost dead on to the original from ’83 and Brian sounds just as good as jhe did back then. Dare I say the new version is better than the original? Damn close!
Want to hear good time, fun, party Hard Rock? The Helix is the band to bring it to you with THE POWER OF ROCK AND ROLL. The new band is tight, Brian Vollmer hasn’t lost a step vocally, and the songs are solid. Helix hasn’t changed their formula, nor do they have to. If it works, don’t change a thing. If I had to pick them, my favorite songs are: the title track, ‘Nickels And Dimes’, ‘Baby Likes To Ride’, ‘Get Up!’ and ‘ Fill Your Head with Rock’. There isn’t a weak song on the album.
Unfortunately, I bought this album in early January before I made my Top 15 Albums of 2007. Looking back on it now, if I bought the album in 2007, it would have easily made the Top 15. This album is really great, here’s hoping Vollmer and company do another!