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Helix - Vagabond Bones

posted 25 Jul 2011, 07:52 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 25 Jul 2011, 11:20 ]
(Perris Records)
Vagabond Bones is Canadian rockers Helix’s 15th studio album from a career spanning three decades. The band are well known for their brand of 80’s style stadium rock, they may not be thought provoking or musically experimental boundary pushers - They just do fun energetic rock n roll! Helix have always been on my must see live list, as a lot of their songs seem to me to be perfect for the live arena.

The album pretty much does what it says on the tin, this is in the most part what you’d expect from Helix, rambunctious no frills stadium rock. Having said that though a few of the songs do have a hint of modern pop rock touches to them, just to contemporise the band’s sound a little to make them more relevant and less retro. I do really like the album for its fun and energetic stance, it’s not hard work and you’ll find yourself nodding your head whilst screeching along to a few of the no frills chant choruses! I wouldn’t say it’s a classic album and it sure as shit ain’t re-inventing the wheel but if you’re an established Helix fan you’ll really enjoy this album or indeed if you’re just looking for a bit of lightweight good time rock n roll this could be for you.

“The Animal Inside” is an energetic big riff stadium rocker; with that Helix stamp firmly all over it with a chant along chorus. The next song keeps up that no frills rock n roll vibe with the sing along of “Go Hard or Go Home” another typical Helix rocker. Lead track “Vagabond Bones” has a really good swagger to it and a memorable chorus - a really catchy head nodder of a tune.

“Monday Morning Meltdown” is a modern twist on the Helix formula with a real pop/rock feel too it. “When The Bitters Got The Better Of You” has a great energy and groove, with some blues tinges. “Hung Over But Still Hangin’ In” is back to the traditional sound of the band with a bluesy vibe and a tight memorable swaggering riff - Hell, lyrically we’ve all been here right? Hahaha!

“Best Mistake I Never Made” has a bluesy vibe but is a stab at a more pop/rock sound. “Make Em Dance” is a high energy rocker and sure-fire live hit in my books - With its catchy sing a long chorus and infectious guitar riff. The album rounds of with swaggering blues rock of “Jack It Up” in traditional stadium rock mode.

I would say this is a must for established fans of the band and definitely worth checking out if you like bluesy style 80’s stadium rock. It may not be a classic but it is probably the best thing the band has done in recent times.

Track Listing:

The Animal Inside (Won’t be Denied) / Go Hard or Go Home / Vagabond Bones / Monday Morning Meltdown / When The Bitter’s Got the Better of You / Hung Over But Still Hangin’ In / Best Mistake I Never Made / Make ‘em Dance / Jack It Up

Album Rating:


Woody’s Essential Track:

Make ‘em Dance

Vagabond Bones is OUT NOW and available from all good retailers and