Helms

McCarthy

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If Frank Black fronted Mogwai, it might sound something not unlike McCarthy, and therein lies the problem -- if those two acts were getting married, you'd have to speak up and stop the wedding. Favoring a lugubrious sound that spans the poles between fragile, hypnotic drone rock and crashing, oceanic noise, Helms does little new within the hard/soft dynamic already staked out by dozens of other bands of varying quality; frontman Sean McCarthy recites the lyrics in a droll, half-spoken voice evoking the Pixies, which is probably just a Massachusetts thing, but off-putting nevertheless. And yes, Helms and McCarthy are the surnames of the bandmembers, but they're also the surnames of two of the most evil archconservatives of the 20th century -- talk about making a negative first impression. Cool cover design, though.

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