Helium's No Guitars EP uses plenty of guitar and features guitar-themed lyrics on three of the six songs. The band also experiments with several other instruments, including lots of synth use, a slide guitar, some horns and a flute. Mary Timony's light, breathy voice singing fanciful lyrics about dragons and magic gives the EP a swirling, ethereal sound that at times has almost a Renaissance feel to it. The EP starts out on an upbeat note with "Silver Strings" and "Dragon #2," which have more substantial guitar riffs. Then it slides into a quieter, more airy mode with "The King of Electric Guitars," "Sunday" and the instrumental "13 Bees." The EP wraps up with the droning "Riddle of the Chamberlin," which is finally broken up by a guitar explosion about five minutes into the song. Although Helium is an amazing band, this is not their best or their most inspired effort.
AllMusic Review by Tracy Frey