Helvetia make a guitar-rock that sort of lopes along casually: not so much in a slacker way, more in the sense suggested by the name of the album. Dromomania is a sort of ‘dissociative fugue’, and the band sound somewhat dissociated from the world around them. Surprisingly, this is a big plus, giving the album a strong atmosphere. On Joyful Noise.
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 28 October 2015Last night I sat down to watch 'Psychedelic Britannia' but unfortunately for all concerned I fell asleep. Probably in the middle of a Soft Machine jam. How could I not? Had any music that sounded anything remotely similar to Helvetia been on then it would be very likely I’d have managed to keep my eyes open. This is the sort of thing I like. They mix pop music with avant-garde song structures and so sit perhaps at the exact mid point between the Kinks, Captain Beefheart and ‘Wowee Zowee’ era Pavement. Songs start off in one direction before hurtling off without warning into an entirely different one. Kind of like when you let a dog off the lead. They have a really fuzzy sound with grinding guitars and compressed drums. They contain two people who are now in Built to Spill (presumably they have beards) and when they go straight ahead as on the poppiest thing here, ‘A Dot Running for the Dust’ they slather the thing in so much dirt you want to put them all in the washing machine. The melodies are great - it kind of reminds me of Lilys ‘The Three Way’ album when they went completely off the rails but these have the grind of dirty mid ’60’s blues bands. they also sound like Grandaddy at times, especially on ‘Crumbs Like Saucers’ and they sometimes appear to be all your favourite alt rock lads rolled into one…..but then I hear the Yardbirds. Ok, ok what I'm trying to say is that it's all over the place, wildly experimental and full of ideas. You’ll spend your time trying to second guess where they are headed next while marvelling at the fantastically skewed melodies.
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- Dromomania by Helvetia
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