Article by: Leanne Ridgeway
With the release of their fifth album ‘Noctiluca‘ in April of 2019, Washington’s HELMS ALEE expanded upon their trademark sound, fusing girthy sludge riffs, deceptively clever compositions, lush instrumentation, and transcendental melodies into a potent standalone style.
Their multi-faceted songwriting approach features eight-armed drum patterns by drummer / vocalist Hozoji Matheson-Margullis grounded by thunderous walls of fuzz distortion from bassist Dana James and guitarist Ben Verellen. The balance between knuckle-dragging force and transcendent beauty fluctuates throughout, and proves why the band has rightfully stuck around all these years.
Today, HELMS ALEE have unveiled a never-before-seen music video for the ‘Noctiluca‘ standout single “Lay Waste Child.” The animated video, created by Aaron Guadamuz, is ominous and dynamic and captures the song’s words and spirit. See the full video below.
“The song ‘Lay Waste Child’ got me thinking of the industries and modern commerce that have changed cities like Seattle and San Francisco and how in some cases the people behind them have nothing more to gain yet relentlessly pursue profitability and maximization with unclear motivations. Trophy hunting happens on the grandest scale and those in the lowliest of positions are often treated the worst. I instantly felt a deep connection with the band and these themes seem even more timely now than when we began.”
HELMS ALEE continues: “A dark song and dark imagery with splashes of hope and color. Our call to arms to refuse to wallow in darkness but instead find and create beauty.“
02. Beat Up
03. Play Dead
04. Be Rad Tomorrow
05. Lay Waste Child
06. Illegal Guardian
07. Spider Jar
08. Pleasure Torture
10. Word Problem
Inspired by the bioluminescent marine algae of the same name, ‘Noctiluca‘ as a whole pays tribute to the oceanic themes that have pervaded the band’s music. The marine reference is perhaps the closest approximation to their sound: mysterious, magical, and providing light in the darkness. Blazing through a thicket of fog, HELMS ALEE‘s music leaps from the sublime to the savage without warning or apology.
There’s still time on today’s Bandcamp Friday (9/4) to pick up ‘Noctiluca‘ for only $4- (with 100% of all sales going directly to Helms Alee) and revisit their entire Sargent House back catalog for the same price today only on Bandcamp. [link]
Hozoji Matheson-Margullis – Drums, Vocals
Dana James – Bass
Ben Verellen – Guitar