Thursday, April 17, 2014


"Bastard of the Blues" is the 13th full length Helix studio CD, not counting several live CDs and numerous compilation albums, and draws from the vast blues/rock/and metal influences that have driven both writers over the years. Written primarily with Sean Kelly, the CD is a continuation of 2008's "Vagabond Bones" and also contains two songs from the follow-up EP "Skin in the Game." 

It's now been six years since Kelly and Vollmer combined writing forces, and it shows. The songs are more focused and bigger sounding, the lyrics more concise and catchy. The song "Bastard of the Blues" describes Helix music to a "T"-the unholy co-mingling of blues and rock and roll to produce the bastard child heavy metal; at least the variety Helix has been kicking out for close to 40 years now. 

Guesting on background vocals on the track B.O.T.B. is Cheryl Lescom, whom Brian describes as "...the best female blues singer in Canada..." In "Even Jesus (Wasn't Loved In His Hometown)" Vollmer describes how the band can play all over the world (this year they have dates in Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland & the U.S. and are already booked on 2015's Monsters Of Rock Boat Cruise with some of the biggest and brightest metal/hard rock stars of the 80s') but can't get a gig or any respect in their hometown of London, Ontario. Go figure! "Screaming at the Moon" and "Metal At Midnight" are sure to be big European hits as the metal scene continues to thrive there. "Screaming at the Moon" also features Nick Walsh of Slic Toxic (a platinum selling Canadian metal band) on back-up vocals. 

The 6th track on the CD, "Hell Bound For A Heartbreak", talks of an addicted gambler, something Brian should know about, having lived many years with a bookie. "...I saw guys come to pick up their winnings at night and leave the next morning over $1,000 in the hole..." comments Vollmer. A first for the band is the ballad "When All The Love Is Gone", sang and written by long-time bass player and member of the band Daryl Gray. It has a very Gary Moore type of feel to it. The 8th track, "Axe to Grind", continues the angst with an angry Alice Cooper feel, followed by "Skin in the Game" and "The Bitch is a Bullet", both from the S.I.T.G. EP. "Skin in the Game" speaks volumes about Vollmer's commitment to staying in the music business against all odds, or as the lyrics state, "...I've got some skin in the game, I'll be staking my claim, I got my balls on the line, I've got some skin in the game..." The idea for "The Bitch Is A Bullet" came from a comment he heard a friend make who was going through a particularly nasty divorce. The last track on the CD, "Sticks & Stones" is reminiscent of early Aerosmith, and talks about those individuals who take dangerous chances thinking they are invincible and end up killing themselves or quadriplegic in a wheelchair. So far Vollmer has been able to avoid that....
Bastard Of The Blues is released via Perris Records in May.

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