Cult Glasgow band offer heavy, disorientating psych-rock on ‘Drinking Of You’ Taken from highly-anticipated debut album
Glasgow’s Helicon have been staples of the UK’s underground rock scene since they formed back in 2009 and from then they’ve gone on to picking up an almost mythical reputation – releasing eight EPs and touring continually. After working non-stop for the best part of a decade, the band are finally going to be releasing their long-overdue self-titled debut LP on December 8th via Fuzz Club. Following on from the mesmerising sitar-led “Seraph”, the band are now sharing the second single from the LP – the dizzying, crushing psych-rock gusto of “Drinking Of You” that shows a completely different side to the five-piece.
On “Drinking Of You”, vocalist John-Paul explains: “It’s a song of love and loss and the bizarre juxtaposition that we feel in the comfort of being sad. The off-beat synth and drum rhythms were written to disorientate, to make you feel uncomfortable and confused. The tuning of the guitars lends to the downwards, swirling helter-skelter feeling as though you’re losing control on the inside whilst the outside looks perfectly normal to others. It’s in the album as that moment of the trip when shit turns weird and you’re fighting off the panic before the Bold Yin comes in to make everything better.”
Exploring multiple themes of love and loss, drugs and drink, religion and politics, and life and death, the new album is a collection of sprawling and expansive psych-rock. Rock’n’roll has always transcended geographical limits and with this in mind the band explain how the new record aims to explore all of psychedelia’s hazy, deeply-rooted global – from their native Scotland to the sitar-led, opium-tainted sounds of India and the neo-psychedelic swoons of 90s San Francisco. The album was produced by Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Belle & Sebastian) at Mogwai’s own Castle Of Doom Studio.
On the arrival of their highly-anticipated debut LP, John-Paul adds: “As our sound and line-up evolved over the years I felt the time was now finally right to make the commitment to doing the album people had been asking us for and we owed to ourselves. The album itself is inspired by our desire to create impact, to push back against the fucking dirge of contemporary popular music and dumbing down of society. It’s the same reason we formed the band, there’s no point in complaining about shit if you aren’t prepared to offer up an alternative.”
The band was formed by brothers John-Paul (Guitar/vocals) and Gary Hughes (Guitar) and since then they’ve burned through two drummers, two bass players, two guitarists and a keys player – they confess, as a result of them both being either “incredibly dedicated and resilient or just a couple of insufferable c*nts.” In its current form, the band is now comprised of Mark McLure (Bass), Seb Jonsen (Drums) and Graham Gordon (Sitar and synths), each bringing a wealth of great experience to the table. As well as playing in numerous bands together in the past, Graham has also previously toured with Asteroid #4 (playing the sitar) and both he and Seb are currently touring with Peter Daltrey’s legendary Kaleidoscope band.
PRAISE FOR HELICON
“Helicon are a mythical force in the UK underground… Psych with a real crunch, the sheer force of the group’s delivery is enough to punch the air out of your lungs.” Clash Magazine
“Mind-bending psych glowing with the rich musical traditions of the East… [Seraph] combines elements of dusty psych with the powerful spiritual reverberations that the sitar brings, unlike any other instrument.” Get Into This
“Helicon are reminiscent of Brain Jonestown Massacre circa Pol Pot’s Pleasure Penthouse… It’s a remarkably exotic cut for four people from Glasgow, showing that musical borders are there to be broken… A force to be reckoned with.” Gigwise
“The key for Helicon seems to be disciplined chaos, a swirling protean drone-ooze draws you in for three or four minutes, before giving way to dizzying triple-time rock riffs, throbbing Krautrock propulsion, ambient serenity, or triumphant shoegaze sway-alongs” Rave Child
“Helicon’s sound world is one of dark drones and relentless noise. It’s ambitious, gorgeous, intricately structured, and, especially with sitarist Graham Gordon in the band, wonderfully original.” Stereo Embers
“Here was a band who had found their niche and who were methodically teasing every ounce of gold dust from it… On top of their ethereal, epic sprawling, reverb soaked sound, Helicon are a band imbued with those endearing celtic traits of the self-deprecating wit, and a prodigious work ethic.” Chromaticism
“Waste no faith on stereotypes – they’ll only be proven wrong. Case in point: the psychedelic haze & gaze merchants from Scotland known as Helicon” Revolt Of The Apes
HELICON S/T TRACK-LIST
1) Devil On Your Tongue
4) Drinking Of You
5) The Bold Yin
6) Teenage Murder
7) French As Fuck
8) Ring The Albanian
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