3/31/20213 min read

Band: Helix
Title: Old School
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Perris Records
Release date: 6/14/2019


1. Coming Back With Bigger Guns
2. Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
3. If Tears Could Talk
4. Your Turn To Cry
5. Tie Me Down
6. Closer To You
7. Games Mother Never Taught You
8. Southern Comfort
9. Hound Dog Howlin' Blues
10. Cheers

Brian Vollmer (vocals)
Chris Julke (guitar, backing vocals)
Kaleb Duck (guitar, backing vocals)
Paul Hackman (guitar, backing vocals)
Daryl Gray (bass, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals)
Greg “Fritz” Hinz (drums)
Sam Reid (keyboards, backing vocals)

The “Old School” album came about quite by accident…this’s the rock accidents Helix’s fans love!
Then older tracks never released, although some of them might have been on our Helix’s website as “rare tracks” in the past.
“Games Mother Never Taught You”, “Tie Me Down”, and “Your Turn to Cry” are extract from 2” tape recorded for the Back for Another Taste sessions in 1989. Paul Hackman played guitar and sang on these tracks.
 “If Tears Could Talk”, “Whiskey Bent & Hell Bound”, “Southern Comfort”, “Closer” “Coming Back with Bigger Guns”, and “Hound Dog Howlin’ Blues”  were re-recorded by “tracing” the songs from cassette tapes. 
In short, I could define "Old School" a ‘The Best of Helix’, created with the material that the band has found cleaning up their cellar and we, as their fans, are delighted, because these songs can release the energy of the band, the same with which we have always been charmed.
On the Canadian rock scene through the 1980s, Helix with an honored career behind them, with about twenty albums between studio album and lives, and a great background of live shows, the band returns with these goodies that reproduce the glories of the rock of the eighties.
Starting with “Coming Back With Bigger Guns”, Helix offer a crackling, vital and dynamic piece, as their music has always been, with great bass laps and full guitars, robust and always able to hit in the right points.Always with bluesy lines and a good hard rock that personally, I'm surprised every time I listen to them.
“Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound”  has always a very hard rock line, the typical sound of Helix that made them famous and decreed their success, a piece with a very catchy chorus accompanied by excellent instrumentation and a formidable voice. Even if the pieces are dated, the components of the helix are unscrewed, fortunately for us. Great guitar solo  and drums always very present. But how beautiful is the hard rock sound of the eighties?!
 It continues on the style in the following "If Tears Could Talk", another granitic piece accompanied by an excellent melody, while with "Your Turn To Cry" the sound is painted in a bluesy rock tone that transports to a beautiful guitar solo, and as always accompanied by a warm voice and at the same time abrasive.
Beautiful "Tie Me Down", a piece that contains an intense personality made of blues veins and excellent rock, an exceptional song that who knows how it has remained hidden so far.
“Closer” sees great guitar arrangement and Brian’s voice reaches such brilliant tones, there is none for anyone, helix are a great band and prove it with their techniques both musical and vocal, interweaving a tough sound with enchanting melodies.
"Games Mother Never Taught You" would really be dated? Because it has a very fresh and modern sound that would surprise any hard rock band on the music market. This at the time could easily be a hit, just as it could still be, an exceptional piece, dynamic, fresh and gritty, just like the voice of Brian, as to say, the lion keeps roaring!
No less important is the following "Southern Comfort", also here great echoes of rock and blues, an amazing and engaging rock, one of those pieces that can wrap you and drag you into their meanders between high performing riffs and great melody
No, well, what about Hound Dog Howlin' Blues? It's simply perfect, a beautiful sharp and incisive piece, a stunning piece on all levels.

Even in a nostalgic and melancholic mood, like that of "Cheers", helix always manage to be great, beautiful duo piano and voice, very much understood with the excellent vocal interpretation, yet another, of a singer who remains a great interpreter of what is the international hard rock.
Thank you Helix for brushing up on these wonderful songs and involving us fans in another piece of your career.
An important note: “Old School” is dedicated to the memory of Paul Hackman, guitarist who performed with the rock band Helix from 1976 until his death in a road accident.

Valeria Campagnale 

HELIX - OLD SCHOOL, review, rockers and other animals, hard rock, heavy metal