Somewhere back in July, Purple Heart Parade connected me with Helicon and I was immediately smitten with these self-proclaimed, “Doom-mongering behemoths of Psychedelic Rock formed in East Kilbride / Glasgow”.
These particular behemoths must have come from the cheerier side of the doom-mongering clan, because when I listen to the euphonious sounds they shape, I feel revitalised and up for anything.
Helicon are also one of those bands for me, that when you delved into their back catalogue – the only surprise there was, was just how consistently fucking good it all was. Here was a band who had found their niche and who were methodically teasing every ounce of gold dust from it, not spilling or squandering one single speck of 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. Latest EP ‘Gehenna’ is their eighth Bandcamp EP release since 2011 along with Album ‘Suburban Decay’ in 2013. It bears testament to the band’s meticulous musicianship that they have also shared a stage with the likes of Wooden Shjips and Dead Skeletons, not to mention two appearances at Liverpool Psych Fest.
Gehenna is the name given to an accursed valley south of Jerusalem synonymous with pain, suffering and condemned souls. The escapist dichotomy of Helicon, is perfectly summed up in their naming their latest EP ‘Gehenna’ and including a track called ‘We’re Gaun Tae The Moon’.
EP opener ‘In A Sad Red Dusk’ may well refer to the blood soaked sands of the so-called “Holy Land”, but the drifting opening sitar chords, courtesy of Graham Gordon, transport me to an altogether more trippy, peaceful and tranquil idyll – floating on those fluffy Magellanic clouds, on one of the suggested EP covers.
Nine and a half minute epic, ‘We’re Gaun Tae The Moon’ kicks in with a darker, and to these ears, almost Sabbath-like ‘NIB’ vibe, before dissolving in a particulate, frenzied cosmic jam ritual.
I asked guitar-slinger, JP what Helicon had been up to;
Helicon are the real deal, they are so painfully authentic and steeped in the timeless mists of integrity, that you just know they are going to be around forever…