"The Power of Rock and Roll" (Perris Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"The Power of Rock and Roll" is exactly what you'd expect from a Helix album. It's pure old school, 80s-style heavy metal (we'd probably call it "hard rock" today) that is as much fun to listen to as it probably was to record. Maybe more.

Of course, it's laden with heavy metal songwriting and guitar cliches, hilariously (and intentionally) cheesy lyrics ("I can see you're the jealous kind; well, you know what? Kiss my behind!)" but I wouldn't have it any other way. Listening to "The Power of Rock and Roll" was the most fun I've had in months listening to a CD and I can't wait to load it up again.

For more information, check out http://www.planethelix.com

"Half-Alive" (D-Rock; 1998)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Helix have been around since 1976, so you know already what you're in store for when you pop in this CD. It's pure late 70s, early 80s metal, complete with chunky power chords, macho-strut vocals and testosterone-laden lyrics. This CD, released in 1998, doesn't disappoint, delivering the goods with as much charisma and fun as the band had way back when.

Five songs on the CD are new studio recordings. The balance are from live performances and feature such Helix favorites as "No Rest for the Wicked," "Dirty Dog" and "Heavy Metal Love." According to the liner notes, these live recordings (from 1992 - 1997) were "compiled to convey the IN YOUR FACE ATTITUDE and EXCITEMENT of every Helix live show." (Their capitalization, not mine). And they do just that. The live tracks are fiery, well-played and very energetic.

Of course, in typical 80s fashion, you also get a fair dose of cheese. The ballad "Good To the Last Drop" is cheesy enough to cause lactose intolerance in sensitive listeners. 

Another bonus on this CD is a killer cover rendition of the classic tune, "The Pusher," which, I believe, originally appeared on the soundtrack to the film "Easy Rider."

Fans of 80s party music will find a treasure if they can locate a copy of "Half-Alive," which, sadly, seems to be out of print. The good news is that - according to the band's website - "Half Alive" may be re-released soon. 

For more information, check out http://www.planethelix.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 14:32:29 -0400 .