learning love songs

est. 2008


Mt. Helium


Apex Theory just had it going-the-fuck-on, such grooves, such a unique sound, but a face-melting breakdown ability and an incredible way of building up to it, like they’re twisting time signatures into knots and literally bending the seconds into longer and shorter versions to fit their notes. It is seriously amazing what they do, I have not heard much if anything really like them before. Look at this EP, look at how it starts so slow and dreamy – 23 minutes of wave after wave of sound later it ends on a howl.

You don’t make songs this strange and complex and beautiful by not trying at all, it doesn’t just happen by sitting around saying “Hey, I feel like writing a song, think I’m gonna go write a song.” You get there by knowing what you want, by working at it, by not caring how batshit it might sound to people who expect you to do something else or think you’d make more money doing something else.

Apex Theory, who became Mt.Helium, never took off too far, and the last LP was 2008, practically an epoch ago. Did no one get them? Did people not understand what they were doing? The fans they did have were obsessed, and still are, according to YouTube comments.

I love this EP. Not just because it’s badass, but because it reminds me of different times, when day in and day out I felt emboldened by rebelliousness and a had a knack for the contrary. When I just felt like I owed the world nothing but to be me, answered to no one and gave zero fucks what anyone would say. What would she think of me and all these “accomplishments?” (their words, not mine).

Every now and then, it’s good to remember where you came from. Working hard is working hard, and there’s all kinds of benefits there. But I think nothing could be more rewarding than knowing you never sacrificed who you were. Every now and then it’s good to remember what got you where you are. I’m not giving up yet.

“time to wrap your head around it/to grow, to grow/time to wrap your head around it/to grow, to grow out” ~Burglar Soup, Apex Theory, Inthatskyissomethingwatching


So. Much. Feel. In this song. And delay. It’s gorgeous, with amazing verse-to-chorus dynamics, guitars that kind of float around really driving metal-like rhythm sensibilities.

It’s not enough to say what you say
You’ve got to show me that you mean it all
A lie for you your dying day

~Joy Peninsula,
Mt.Helium, Faces


So I’m hooked on this one album this week–Mt.Heluim’s Faces. I haven’t fully figured out how to describe it–I guess progressive rock/metal comes the closest–but this shit is so full of hooks and riffs that I can’t shake out of brain (and have no desire to).

I’ve just loved listening to this record on the train or walking around–it’s so full and fierce and vibrant. Every song seems to have a chorus that radiates with an electric sound that’s new and original.

The band’s members are the same guys that were the Apex Theory–a spacey, proggy, metal group that I enjoyed as well. But the remaining members in Mt. Helium have dug deeper with this project–extracting out the special effects for solid and reliable tension-filled rock music. I was so waiting to stumble across something like that! *Sigh of relief*

Faces goes deep, with majestic, epic moments–plus, they’re a trio, so kudos for pulling that off. Kind of the way Muse, or Keane, manages. Standout tracks are “Face Break,” “Pins,” and the luscious, soaring “Remind.” Go on, listen to that track, and then get it out of your head. Try.

Listening to this record has got me thinking about the filtration system of bands who “make it.” What’s make it, anyhow? It’s not like radio airplay really means anything anymore, and MySpace friends can be faked if you try hard enough, and while record sales can clue us in about the number of real fans a group has so much just gets downloaded that there’s no accurate way to tell how many people are actually listening to your record as you gave it out.

I suppose it rests on concert attendance and ticket sales–what is presumably the bottom line of a band’s financial success anyway. Speaking of, I have to see if these guys are touring….

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