Helen Kelter Skelter
Shaking Shanghai Records
Helen Kelter Skelter serves a multi-dimensional psychedelic purpose. The cross-pollination between the apocalyptic war Charles Manson deemed as “Helter Skelter,” and political activist and deaf/blind legend Helen Keller serves as an illusion between the ‘70s weirdness and today’s turbulence.
That is where Melter comes in. The band presents more psychedelic pop prowess in the way the Dandy Warhols and Spiritualized portrayed than the freak-out expressionists Xhol Caravan or Tonto’s Expanding Head Band. But like all psychedelic bands, all is not as it seems.
I was expecting more. “Fly Thru Clouds” is whimsical, and in a Ty Segall psychedelic world, daringly accessible. Are there rules within the psychedelic construct? It feels like they follow them to a heroin chic tee. This song has the typical effects and the banter that balances between psych swinger and glam confidence.
Helter Kelter Skelter – Guud
“Guud,” a song that—by name, sounds more like krautrock—turns this album into a metropolitan affair. Late night, out-of-body experiences reacting from a new religion, this perception of reality suspends reaction and converts their music into action.
Here is where things get interesting. As the album progresses, the stranger things get. It does not hit you at once as their method is psychological. Don’t expect to walk away thinking just how weird listening to Melter is. It’s a transfer back to reaction. “Palamino” hits us with their big rock sounds and Jesus and Mary Chain-like fuzz attack. “Minding” is a slow burn as reality melts away. The perfect surrealism that is similar to having a conversation about Castaneda at 4 a.m.
I don’t want to give all of the easter eggs away. I am sure your easter eggs will be different than mine. Helen Kelter Skelter is about discovery not escapism. And Melter is a big statement. You may not know it at first, but you will realize it by the end.