Monday, April 28, 2014

Helms Alee-Sleepwalking Sailors

Sargent House

It's all been one big lie friends. Ignorance is most assuredly not bliss. You'd have a hard time convincing me otherwise as I tragically unaware of Seattle, Washington's Helms Alee (bassist/vocalist Dana James, guitarist/vocalist Ben Verellen and drummer/vocalist Hozoji Matheson-Margullis) until only just recently. And with "Sleepwalking Sailors", the third full-length album from a band that has had a long history of releasing EPs and splits since only 2007, this is true bliss. As such, how can one claim to experience a feeling of bliss outside of the sounds of Helms Alee? That is a troubling question and one which may never be answered in a satisfactory fashion. Thankfully we can all move on and treat this as a learning experience. For those no sense in drowning in our tears about what could have been, time we might have spent in the comfort of this unheralded trio with shared vocals, female and male, when we can now embrace the expansive collection of textures and sounds that make up this featured full-length attraction! Blessed with an uncanny ability to maneuver emotional material over a vast and ever-expansive sonic landscape, which (somehow) is atmospheric without actually transcending into some sort of  "atmospheric" rock and/or metal sound, the members of Helms Alee carefully mask their own roots/personal desires so that the music at hand beautifully meshes, note for note, into one perfect creation! And that's exactly what amazes me most about "Sleepwalking Sailors". It's truly something how Helms Alee (playfully) goes about stretching rock's boundaries, covering everything from stoner rock, post-grunge, alternative rock and math metal to indie rock, post-punk and even doom metal(!), in a (seemingly) carefree fashion and yet, upon further investigation (over repeated listens which is an essential component of the whole "Sleepwalking Sailors" experience!), the material present on this Seattle rock band's latest is not just technically-sound, but in reality expertly-constructed in order to get the most out of every moment! To say that I was blown away by this recording would be a understatement as "Sleepwalking Sailors" is superb in just about every way that you can imagine! From production to content it's easily to see that everything about this band's third album has been touched up and tweaked. Even so, "Sleepwalking Sailors", is colorful and personal. Helms Alee has graciously extended an offer for each and every listener, one that encourages you to walk alongside this trio as they explore a world of creativity and imagination where anything and everything is possible! I would encourage each and everyone of you who reads this piece to join Helms Alee on this journey of discovery. It's well worth the time. You can find out more about Helms Alee on their Facebook page ( while you can hear this remarkable recording for yourself right here: 

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