BIN SIFTER OF THE MONTH
ALL RECORDS ARE GRACIOUSLY SUPPLIED BY VERTIGO RECORDS IN OTTAWA, CANADA
There will be occasion that I will peel through the bins at Vertigo Records trying to find something outside the realm on reason. For example, as we have had the pleasure of having comedian Dean Delray as our guest this week on the podcast, something inside me came alive for 80s metal. Nope, not the thrash stuff. It’s the hair metal that I want. The dirty little fucker inside me wants to go back to the backyard lawn dart parties, drink my fucking face off, do a pile of rotten drugs, east some BBQ, play a soon-to-be-illegal game where you throw over-sized darts all about the yard, and listen to some fucking Helix!
GIVE ME AN ARRRR! Fuck’n right. It’s 1984 and hair rock is everywhere. In the beginning, Helix played live a lot in Hamilton, Ontario – Canada. My girlfriend asked me, one time, to kiss her where it stinks; so, I took her to Hamilton. It’s an industrial steel town. Folks in Hamilton fucking love their heavy metal. Dirty fucking taverns, working class population, union steel jobs, lots of cash, and fuck do they drink.
GIVE ME AN OOOAAAHHHH! The world was being dominated by heavy metal bands like AC/DC and Judas Priest. There’s not much better than a Friday night at the bar listening to ‘DC or ‘Priest, getting fucking shitfaced in the parking lot looking at hot rods. All of a sudden your little Canadian steel town has a band like that of its own. Yeah, that’s right – fucking HELIX. Now you could go to the bar and feel the heat and sweat of the leathers mixed elegantly with cigarette smoke and hairspray, and have the rock quake your bowls live instead of the jukebox. Fuck Yeah!
GIVE ME AN CEEEEE! When the band released Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge, it was if a mystic portal was being opened and a future AC/DC came through and copied its sound for future shitty records. Heck, they kinda even took it’s name for one of their shittier albums. That Helix album did bring us Rock You, which brought the band outside of home town Kitchener and home-away-from-home Hamilton; it begs the question… how much do bands like this owe their careers to the CRTC and its Canadian content regulations? Without the video play of that song on Much Music, nobody would have heard Helix. Thanks CRTC. Thanks goverment regulations.
GIVE ME A KAAAYYY! If I’m in a backyard filled with food, liquor, and ladies. If I’m in a backyard on a hot summer day, drinking beer, playing lawn darts, or flat out in a kiddie pool with a slick pair of water-wings on, I fucking love this record from Helix. This is especially true when I am getting to the other side of hammered. When I start barking out the chant in Rock You and it still sounds sane, then we’re good. It’s when I have no pants on and I’m yelling that song that shit goes south fast. If you see me like this, no matter how fucking happy I might look, find my wife and have her take me home. Outside of this hyperspecific environment, there is absolutely no need for this record to exist.
WHAT ‘YA GOT? In the spirit of good bar bands and their everlasting merits, Helix fucking rules. When it comes to making a record; they should have done a little more work with the songs and sounds than they did on their fucking hair and videos. The guitar sound is rotten. I know 80s hair metal had a ‘sound’ to it, but you need to have the right gear to make those tones work, and Helix had the hand-me-down shittier cousins to that gear. As I said, some of the songs sound so much like AC/DC that much of the real shitty material fed to us by the Young brothers could have been ripped straight from this Helix record. The guitars are tinny, the drums are way over bearing, and the vocals sound more like Udo Dirkschneider from Accept than they do Bon Scott or Brian Johnson. Under no circumstances do I hate this record. It has it’s place for me. That place is not a Friday in the middle of March. Now, don’t let Gary or Randy hear me say any of this – those two fucking love Helix.
ROCK YOU by HELIX from WALKIN’ THE RAZOR’S EDGE