Helix – ‘Skin In The Game’

 


THE BAND:
Brian Vollmer – lead vocals
Brent “The Doctor” Doerner – lead guitar and vocals
Daryl Gray – bass, guitar and vocals
Greg “Fritz” Hinz – drums & vocals
Kaleb “Duckman” Duck – lead guitar and vocals




TRACK FRAGMENTS:

1.) “Willian Tell Overture” -The William Tell Overture is the instrumental introduction to the opera Guillaume Tell (in English, William Tell) by Gioachino Rossini. William Tell premiered in 1829 and was the last of Rossini's 39 operas, after which he went into semi-retirement, although he continued to compose cantatas, sacred music and secular vocal music. The overture is in four parts, each following without pause. There has been repeated use (and sometimes parody) of parts of this overture in both classical music and popular media, most famously as the theme music for the Lone Ranger radio and television shows.  Franz Liszt prepared a piano transcription of the overture in 1838 (S.552) which became a staple of his concert repertoire.  There are also transcriptions by other composers, including versions by Louis Gottschalk for two and four pianos and a duet for piano and violin.
2.) “Skin In The Game”- This track opens with a simple single rhythm.  After two measures Kaleb begins playing a separate rhythm riff then Brent.  This second riff was heavily influenced by some of the early guitar riffs Malcolm Young (AC/DC) has wrote over the years.  Greg kicks the drum line-in for the musical verse.  There is not a rhythm guitar change until the opening lyric line.  For the musical verse both Brent and Kaleb are playing two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  There is a small echo attached to the end of each lyric line.  You can definitely tell several members from the eighties line-up are with the band for the chorus.  It has a hook that was only familiar with that line-up!  There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the rhythm guitar riffs that connect the first chorus with the second verse.  There is a small breakdown section connecting the second chorus with the lead guitar solo.  The solo runs underneath the outro section.
3.) “The Bitch Is A Bullet” – This track opens with a small special effect before going into a rhythm guitar arrangement.  It sounded as if both guitarists were playing the same riff.  Except one of the rhythm riffs was done using the wah-wah effect.  For the musical verse there is a rhythm guitar change and band kick-in. The verse consisted of the lyric lines laced in between the musical arrangements.  There is an arrangement change underneath the musical pre-chorus.  There is a lead guitar riff underneath Brian’s lead vocal lines.  The chorus had a huge Helix hook attached to it.  The main instrumentation through the second verse was the bass & drum line.  After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo that leads to a short breakdown section. 
4.) “Angelina” – The intro to this track consisted of two different rhythm guitar riffs.  The way the guys wrote the rhythm guitar riffs of the intro gave the song an early Blackhawk feel (an early nineties American Country band).  Greg plays a small drum fill to connect the intro with the musical pre-verse.  For the musical pre-verse Greg’s drum line is laced in between the lyric lines.  There is a small tom-tom fill and bass line change for the musical verse.  Both Brent & Kaleb change their rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse.  The chorus has a huge Vollmer hook attached to it!  After the second chorus there is a timing change that leads to a short lead guitar solo.  The breakdown section was very reminiscent to early eighties Helix.
5.) “Champagne Communist - This track opens with a very simple laid back intro arrangement.  There is a small lead lick connecting the second and third lyric lines of the first verse.  There is a short snare drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  The rhythm guitar of the musical chorus was more of a lead guitar than a rhythm guitar arrangement.  Not only is there a backing harmony in between each lyric line however some of the sections that connect the lyric lines consist of lead guitar licks.  There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the second chorus.  This minor lead guitar solo leads to a breakdown section.  The breakdown section leads to a very short lead guitar solo.  Brian sings a vocal line through a bullhorn to connect the solo section with the third verse.      


Helix has never released a bad CD and this is no exception!!!!!! An absolute must have!