Helix - Vagabond Bones

1. The Animal Inside (Won’t Be Denied)
2. Go Hard or Go Home
3. Vagabond Bones
4. Morning Morning Meltdown
5. When The Bitter's Get The Better Of You
6. Hung Over But Still Hanging In (duet with Russ Dwarf)
7. Best Mistake I Never Made
8. Make 'Em Dance
9. Jack It Up

Brian Vollmer - lead vocals
Brent "The Doctor" Doerner - lead guitar
Greg "Fritz" Hinz - drums
Daryl Gray - bass guitar

Breaking Loose (1979)
White Lace & Black Leather (1981)
No Rest for the Wicked (1983)
Walkin' the Razor's Edge (1984)
Live At The Marquee (1984) (promotional live EP)
Long Way to Heaven (1985)
Wild in the Streets (1987)
Over 60 minutes with... (1989) (best of)
Back for Another Taste (1990)
The Early Years (1991) (reissue of first two albums)
It's a Business Doing Pleasure (1993)
half-ALIVE (1998)
Deep Cuts: the Best Of (1999) (best of)
B-Sides (1999)
Live! in Buffalo (2002) (live)
Rockin' in My Outer Space (2004)
Never Trust Anyone Over 30 (2004) (best of)
Rockin' You for 30 Years (2004) (best of)
Get Up! (2006)
The Power of Rock and Roll (2007)
A Heavy Mental Christmas (2008)

Sean Kelly - guitar, bass, background vocals
Steve Georgakopoulos - guitar
Brent "Ned" Niemi - drums
Rob MacEachern - drums
Cheryl Lescom - vocals
Russ Dwarf - vocals
Aaron Murray
Sydney Galbraith
Kiley Joe Mason
Doug Weir

Produced by Aaron Murray, Sean Kelly and Brian Vollmer
Mastered by Tim Branton

Released: 17/11-2009
Reviewed: 27/1-2010


These guys have found some Vagabond Bones and now they are releasing their fifteenth album in a long and rather lustrous career which entails five gold records and two platinum records. These Canadian rockers have been around for some time as you might know, the first album was released all the way back in 1979 which means that the band celebrated their 30th year as a band last year. The same year that they released the very album I am about to review here.

One thing about old bands like this is that they often recycle old music of their own, like Iron Maiden or AC/DC, if this is true or not when it comes to Helix I can’t answer since this is the first album by this band that I hear. Kind of strange if they are a very known band, guess I haven’t been paying that much attention really.

Musically this band plays melodic rock music which emphasises on the voice of frontman Brian Vollmer as well as distinct choruses. Much of the focus in their music is on the chorus of the songs. The sound is very much eighties sounding but with a bit more modern production but the song structure and also instrumental melodies are the same, the sound is just a bit more polished.

There are nine songs on this record, none of which is very long which has to be seen as something positive when it comes to this kind of music. These few songs and relatively few minutes mens that this record becomes rather intense due also to the fact that there is quite a lot of energy in some of the songs. The opening track called The Animal Inside (won’t be denied) is one of these songs with much energy, this can also be said about for instance the title track which also happens to be the track featured in the video that accompanies this review.

However, despite these strong powerful and energetic songs, the best song of this record stands out by being more melodic and also in a different, much lower tempo. It stands out quite a bit from the rest of the record, that may be why I like this track more than the rest but it is a very good track and it is called Best Mistake I Never Made. Had there been one more track like this I would probably have raised the rating a bit but now there isn’t.

Still besides the lack of this track there are not really much to complain about when it comes to this record. The music is very good and well performed but still the feeling that this has been heard before is there, it almost feels like the band is recycling which is a bit of a negative for me. This also means that I will probably not play this record again now that I have written it off in this review.

Now, if you like melodic rock of this kind you will of course really like this record as well. This is a very good record, no matter if you have heard it before or not, and I can recommend it to anyone who likes melodic rock. I really like this record as the tracks are really good and melodies are great but I have much more music to listen to and that is why I will not listen to it now. But for you fans of the genre, or Helix, this record is a great record and well worth listening to, or buying.

As I feel I have heard it many times before it doesn’t really win me over but I am rather certain that all of you who like melodic rock will certainly be won over by this record. The vagabond bones still dances to the melodies, be sure you do as well.


Label - Helix Records/Perris Records
Three similar bands - Led Zeppelin/Steppenwolf/Grimmstine
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm