You may think Helms is deathly serious when you first hear this album, but upon closer listen, you notice the lyrics are a bit humorous. Vocalist/guitarist Sean McCarthy has a bit of a Brian McMahon/Thurston Moore feel to his voice as he speak/sings about G.I. Joe ("We Must Get There Before Dark, Follow Me"), Pac-Man ("Ghosts with Searching Eyes"), and Three's Company ("The Television Set"). The music itself is full of contemplation and incredibly tight musicianship. "The Kindness of Automatic Doors" slides along at the pace of a snake on a hot desert floor, while "Teenagers in the Woods" builds ever so slightly until it falls into a quiet crevasse. "Ghosts with the Searching Eyes" demonstrates "Sean McCarthy"'s amazing and unorthodox guitar abilities as he plays a riff with his left hand while using his right hand to twiddle the pickup switch of his guitar, giving the music a sparkling effect. Sean's brother Dan manages to keep up with the textured rock & roll by laying down brutally complex shifts in time signature on his drums ("The Television Set"). As for bassist Tina Helms, she is the anchor of the group, never leading the band astray by implementing her solid basslines in order to allow for any sudden free-form outburst from the guitar or drums. Rumbling chords sprawl across this album like thunder in the summer sky, while the drums snap at the listener with the strength of a jagged lightning bolt. This album should be the blueprint of what's expected from any rock & roll power trio.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Howell