Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Album Review - The Helio Sequence

The Helio Sequence – Keeps Your Eyes Ahead
[Sub Pop; 29/01/2008]

The Helio Sequence is one of those pleasant surprises you just stumble across every once and a while. The Portland duo comprises of vocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers and drummer/key boardist, Benjamin Weikel. The latter, a touring member of Modest Mouse and although there’s departure from the West Coast sea breeze sound, the term “indie” remains eminent on the band’s latest release, Keep Your Eyes Ahead.

The cadence of The Helio Sequence’s songs remains on an even plateau, despite the album comprising of both acoustic and electric sounds. This is mainly due to the strength of Summers’ vocals, which is the primary element that makes The Helio Sequence quite the force to be reckoned with.

‘Shed Your Love’ and ‘Broken Afternoon’ are elegant numbers that are evocative to the sound template of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. The title track grabs you for different reasons, with angular guitar riffs and a free flowing beat that many other band’s could take a note or two on, when trying to write a catchy song. ‘Hallelujah’ stands in exile from rest of the album, with its slightly more drawn out quality that shows the band stretching their boundaries. .

Although straightforward, there’s a quality about Keep Your Eyes Ahead that makes the mind tick over just that little bit more. A simple record that combines elements of alt-country and rock ‘n’ roll, delivered with grandeur and very little fuss. Maybe the question is simple; what’s not to like about it?

By Smon K

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