Helms Alee Weatherhead

Helms AleeWeatherhead
It's curious to note just how antithetical melody has become to much of heavy music, with the vocalist often being relegated to acting as one final instrument to pierce the listener, to hammer home the jilted rhythms and ugly, noise-influenced sonics so prominently featured in bands of Helms Alee's ilk. Thankfully, this Seattle, WA-based trio have uprooted those expectations with Weatherhead, taking full advantage of dynamic female and male vocals to craft harmonies that bring the obvious Pixies and more recent Melvins references to mind. This album exhibits the influence of many of the latter group's bizarre rhythmic tendencies and ambiguous lyrics, especially on "Pretty as Pie," a sludgy but colourful epic the likes of which has seldom been heard since alt-rock's glory days. This album is anything but a throwback, however, with innumerable left turns and peculiarities creating an impressive and diverse experience from a band making the best use of the means at their disposal. (Hydra Head)