The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ALBUM Review

Perris Records | Release Date: July 12 2016


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

Band’s re-record and re-release material all the time for any number of reasons, normally of course these days for Rock bands it’s original labels or subsequent rights owners unwilling to re-issue often long out of print albums,or in some cases even license those recordings out.

Helix are one of Canada’s best Rock bands, I first caught the supporting Kiss in the UK in 1984 and that was already their tenth anniversary! Needless to say they have plenty of miles on the clock and prior to this had a hefty 13 studio albums under their belts as well as half a dozen live or greatest hits compilations.

So at this stage in their career its a surprise that not only are they putting out another compilation but that the compilation features pretty faithful re-recordings of the original tracks featured. Expaination, it seemed, came from an interview with website where Brian Vollmer allegedly explained the re-recordings came about after Rob Wells of the TV show Trailer Park Boys tried to sample ‘Rock You’ and was quoted such a large fee by the record company that the idea was dropped. Vollmer stated that this re-recording was to stop that happening in the future. As I said these things come about for a number of reasons... but it’s not quite the end of that story.

As what is essentially a compilation album goes what you get here is quite frankly a bit of a mish-mash – two re-recorded songs from their debut ‘Breaking Loose’ but nothing from the equally good ‘White Lace and Black Leather’; then there’s a track each from what you might call their major label ‘golden period’ – you know the drill – ‘Heavy Metal Love’; ‘Rock You’; ‘Deep Cuts the Knife’ and ‘Wild in the Streets’. After that though it’s lesser known tunes that you feel might not be bankers for inclusion in TV shows or movies.

Of the rest ‘Shock City Psycho Rock’ at best is OK and rendered to remain so by the kazoo solo; but ‘Get Up’ from the 2006 EP is better and of course anyone who remembers the article on entitled ‘EMI Canada pulls classic Heavy Metal Love track from Trailer Park Boys Movie soundtrack’ will see that back then that same TV show Trailer Park Boys were looking at using ‘Heavy Metal Love’ for their movie but were stymied by the label. I know that the song appears on the soundtrack but which version? And if its the re-recorded version then when the same show came knocking for ‘Rock You’ ten years later you’d imagine that the band would either be ready or not trot out the same story for a different song. Indeed I have no idea if this version of ‘Heavy Metal Love’ on ‘Rock It Science’ is the one from ‘Get Up’ or has been re-re-recorded?

The album closes out with a similarly mixed bag - the the highlight of 2009’s ‘Vagabond Bones’ album ‘Make ‘Em Dance’; one of the poorer songs from the generally solid 2014 album ‘Bastard of the Blues’- ‘Even Jesus’; the last word though goes to the one new tune here ‘(Gene Simmons Says) Rock is Dead’ which sounds like a cash-in and to be honest it’s a half decent song and a bit of fun.  

To me the most interesting thing about the release is the Trailer Park Boys obsession with Canada’s finest Hard Rock band. I still love them but to be honest I’m not sure why this has been put out. A better title might have been “We’re re-recording a few songs so next time the TPB’s come knocking we’re ready”. Oddly the next song I thought they’d be after would be ‘Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ or maybe ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ - neither of which appear here.  


by Mark Rockpit



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