Music Review | posted 07.09.2015
Helen
The Original Faces
kranky, 2015
Text Kristoffer Cornils , Translation Julia Frohn
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7.6
Editorial
Cover Helen - The Original Faces

Liz Harris has a sense of humor. That’s not much of a surprise, considering that most people have a funny bone. And yet, it’s still somewhat surprising, especially when faced with the night owl sound Harris produced under the name of Grouper. However, her humor is not only obscure but also so absurd that people tend to confuse it with esoteric weltschmerz. Her new project together with Jed Bindemann of Eternal Tapestry and Scott Simmons is called Helen and it’s a screwy fun project. Allegedly planned as a thrash metal band, it quickly became a strummy shoegaze, sounding much more like a worn out Cocteau Twins tape than Slayer. But most of all, Helen’s debut record »The Original Faces« (their first release was a limited 7” in 2013) sounds like fun. The almost obligatory shoegazing fixation on inwardness only happens on the roughened surface, the clattering sounds try to hide lots of playfulness and a great deal of punk esprit. And on top of it all, we can hear Harris’ vocals hover in double or triple overdub. It is said that the mysterious woman behind the band’s name also joined in on the vocals, but she’s rather a phantom, maybe even a ghost. That’s the way that Liz Harris’ humor works: even when it’s delivered on a playful, straight and crisp record like »The Original Faces«, the humor always comes along as somewhat abysmal. And still, fuzzy music like this is lots and lots of fun!

You can find the Album »The Original Faces« by Helen at hhv.de: LP
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