HELIX – Rock It Science (2016)
“Rock It Science” is the new HELIX album released by Perris Records but it’s not just a Greatest Hits album, and includes a brand new song, the really fun titled ‘(Gene Simmons Says) Rock Is Dead’.
Helix are Canadian hard rock royalty. Active since 1974, Helix are ranked among Anvil, Lee Arron, The Killer Dwarfs, and a very select few other hard n heavy acts to come out of this country in the 1980s. Thanks to the efforts of Brian Vollmer in particular, Helix have been a constant entity for over 40 years.
Vollmer, the only original member, gathered new musicians under the Helix banner and released Breaking Loose and White Lace & Black Leather, in 1979 and 1981 respectively. The strength of those independent releases got Helix signed to Capitol Records in 1983, subsequently releasing albums almost yearly, from 1983 to 1990.
Helix in its long history, have issued a half-dozen live or greatest hits albums. What makes Rock it Science interesting is not necessarily “Deep Cuts the Knife” or “Rock You.”
“Wild In The Streets” is my all-time favourite Helix song. Of course “Heavy Metal Love” is a classic. I love all these tracks.
My original draft of this review opined the addition of “Heavy Metal Love,” “Rock You,” “Deep Cuts the Knife” and “Wild In The Streets” as being predictable selections.
However, after listening closely to these cuts, I find that several have actually been re-recorded by Helix rather recently, in fact. It’s not a re-imagining of the songs as the new recordings stick pretty close to the original.
Brian Vollmer said that Helix’s record company in the ’80s still owns the rights to some of the band’s biggest albums, so he decided to re-record the songs to have control over his material.
I think they are fantastic re-recordings, and I’m glad I now have them in my collection.
Probably the most notable differences can be found on “Wild In The Streets” with the addition of a synths / organ in the chorus, and a much more raw guitar sound overall.
As for the remaining tracks, I didn’t start following Helix until No Rest For The Wicked in 1983. Therefore, “Billy Oxygen” and the gentle beginning to “You’re A Woman Now” are nice adds, for me to discover the origins of Helix.
Additionally is great to hear a selection from 1998’s Half-Alive — “Shock City Psycho Rock.” It’s a good little tune that kept Helix in the public consciousness during the dark Nineties.
Get Up! was another album I didn’t have, but think I might need to look up. It sees the band returning to its classic sound, but with a hint of pop and some sleaze bar style dancability. Not that “dancability” is a word, but I think you get my meaning.
Vagabond Bones in 2009 is certainly in my collection, with “Make Em Dance” being a highlight of that album. “Even Jesus” is an ok song from 2014’s Bastard Of The Blues but there were stronger tracks on that record that could have been added either as well as, or instead of.
Finally, we get to new track on “Rock It Science”, “(Gene Simmons Says) Rock Is Dead.” I know it’s been on YouTube for several months and hopefully you’ve seen it already, because the video is hilarious, and the song itself is pretty good and very well recorded & produced.
The video pokes fun at KISS bassist Gene Simmons, who made his now infamous comment that “rock is finally dead” during an interview earlier this year. I appreciate Vollmer‘s message, and with former Crash Kelly member Sean Kelly assisting with the composition, the music is pretty solid as well.
I like the fact that Helix included some early cuts, and some more recent ones. As said, this is a worth having release as all are new versions, and while pretty sound the same, there’s few twists to enjoy.
Pick up “Rock It Science” if you want to dip your toe in the Helix shallow end, and then find just about any full-length album and dive in headfirst.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01. Billy Oxygen
02. You’re A Woman Now
03. Heavy Metal Love
04. Rock You
05. Deep Cuts The Knife
06. Wild In The Streets
07. Good To The Last Drop
08. Shock City Psycho Rock
09. Get Up!
10. Make ‘Em Dance
11. Even Jesus Wasn’t Loved In His Home Town
12. (Gene Simmons Says) Rock Is Dead [New Track]
Brian Vollmer: Vocals
Kaleb Duck: Lead guitar, vocals
Daryl Gray: Bass, vocals, keyboards
Chris Julke: Guitar, vocals
Gregory “Fritz” Hinz: drums
BUY IT !