With an impressively value-for-money Hydra Head triple-header US tour drawing to a close, chances are a lot of people will be getting home and checking out Helms Alee for the first time. Whilst nobody is going to argue the Seattle trio are the least well-known act on a bill that also includes Torche and Big Business, all that could be about to change with the recent release of the follow-up to their 2008 debut Night Terror. The 14 tracks on Weatherhead play like a one-band Hydra Head primer, with the band skillfully combining hardcore brutality and progressive math-rock with the precision of veterans Cave In, Harvey Milk’s soaring, majestic classic rock nods, and galloping punk riffs and blown-out sludge grooves that would do tour buddies Torche and Big Business proud. Throw in a few Spanish guitar interludes that border on modern classical and some pleasantly melodic male/ female vocals and you’re left with an adventurous and well-rounded document of a group on the verge of big things. Oh, and the cover (above) is pretty cool too.
Listen: “Elbow Grease” http://soundcloud.com/hydra-head-records/02-elbow-grease/s-ALH8n