1983 proved to be the breakthrough year for Canadian band Helix. After a several year stint as a band with two independently released albums, they changed lanes musically heading into harder and heavier rock.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: No Rest For The Wicked
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Brian Vollmer – vocals * Paul Hackman – guitars * Brent Doerner – guitars * Mike Uzelac – bass * Greg Hinz – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Does A Fool Ever Learn * 02 Let’s All Do It Tonight * 03 Heavy Metal Love * 04 Check Out The Love * 05 No Rest For The Wicked * 06 Don’t Get Mad Get Even * 07 Ain’t No High Like Rock ‘n’ Roll * 08 Dirty Dog * 09 Never Want To Lose You * 10 White Lace And Black Leather
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1983 proved to be the breakthrough year for Canadian band Helix. After a several year stint as a band with two independently released albums (‘Breakin’ Loose’ and ‘White Lace And Black Leather’), Helix were gradually moving away from their Canadian roots rock n roll in favour of harder and heavier rock.
The band were no doubt influenced by what was going on in Europe at the time, and were encouraged by their profile as an up and coming band in the import charts. Playing right across Canada, Helix included elements of Iron Maiden, Saxon and Judas Priest into their music.
With such a strong fan-base at home, Capitol Records came knocking, though it took the band at least 5 or 6 showcases to convince the label to sign them. But eventually they did, with Helix doing everything to prove their worth as a hard working band, moving upwards from a Canadian club band to a full-fledged arena/stadium band.
It’s all about the party anthem atmosphere created on this record. It’s apparent from the start. ‘Does A Fool Ever Learn’ is a track well worn and covered by many melodic rock artists. Helix’s version is probably the best IMO, the guitar layers simply superb.
‘Let’s All Do It Tonight’,well the song title says it all doesn’t it. Check out the groovy tube bass lines from Mike Uzelac on this one. ‘Heavy Metal Love’ is one of Helix’s best known tracks. Looking back now, the title might be on the heavy side, but the music leans more to hard rock, but still it has a good sing-a-long aspect to it.
The title track ‘No Rest For The Wicked’ sounds similar to their indie days, a great rocker with foot-stomping qualities. ‘Don’t Get Mad Get Even’ was another of the tracks to get special attention from Capitol, lifted as a special single EP back in the day – I still have it somewhere in the collection.
Continuing the rabble rousing collection is ‘Ain’t No High Like Rock N Roll’, whereas we head to the dance floor as the lyrics of ‘Dirty Dog’ testify, a dance move by the sound of things. Traditional hard rock a la Nazareth is the feature of the semi-ballad ‘Never Want To Lose You’, big booming drums and a chorus Ron Keel would be proud of.
There is more early Helix crank n roll on ‘White Lace And Black Leather’, an obvious hark-back to their indie days, but resurrected here.
The band toured all over Canada with this one, and dipped down south of the border to play some dates in the U.S with southern rock pairing Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot, and then with Motorhead. They even managed to head over to Europe supporting Kiss.
By the time they returned home to Canada, the band were on the verge of the big-time, but had serious problems trying to hold down a bass player. Mike Uzelac had departed, two part timers had joined the band to keep the show on the road during 1983, before finally settling on Daryl Gray (ex Tracy Kane), who would remain with the band up until 2002.
‘No Rest For The Wicked’ was released on CD by EMI Canada a few years later, while in 2005, Rock Candy Records would reissue the album again, with better remastering and lengthy liner notes.
Does A Fool Ever Learn
Don’t Get Mad Get Even
Entire Album (Select Tracks)