The Brand New (But Old) Album from classic Canadian Rockers HELIX is now available on CD and VERY Limited Edition vinyl.
The OLD SCHOOL album came about quite by accident. In 2018 I was cleaning out the basement closet at Planet Helix. What I found were various tapes I had almost forgotten about-2”, ¼”, and a huge box of cassette tapes. I was going to throw out the 2” tapes until I got a frantic phone call from my old friend Greg Godovitz who realized the tapes’ value. Greg made me take a serious look at what I had and I realized there was at least a whole album of unreleased material-and so the idea of “OLD SCHOOL” was born. Incidentally, none of these tracks were ever released, although some of them might have been on our website as “rare tracks” in the past.
Three of the songs we were able to extract from 2” tape were recorded for the Back for Another Taste sessions in 1989: Games Mother Never Taught You, Tie Me Down, and Your Turn to Cry. Paul Hackman is playing guitar and singing on these tracks. To “extract” these recordings from the 2” tape we had to take the tapes to Beach Studios outside of Goderich, Ontario and get Siegfried Meier to thermally bake them. Upon doing so, the tracks were immediately transferred to digital. Later they were mixed by Siegfried; some with minor overdubs by Daryl Gray. One other track-“Cheers” was taken from a cassette tape and cleaned up by Siegfried as well. This song is a live recording off the floor of the studio.
The other tracks on the album, If Tears Could Talk, Whiskey Bent & Hell Bound, Southern Comfort, Closer, Coming Back with Bigger Guns, and Hound Dog Howlin’ Blues were re-recorded by “tracing” the songs from cassette tapes. This was done because the songs were either unfinished or the cassettes were in bad shape. This re-recording was done by Daryl Gray at Dawghawse Studios in St. Catherines. Daryl was also the producer of this album. Over the fall and spring of 2018/2019 Kaleb, Daryl, Fritz, Chris and myself all travelled to St. Catherines to add parts and advise Daryl on how we heard the songs. By April 2019 we were ready to take the tracks to Siegfried to mix with the help of Daryl and myself. The result is now before you.
This album is dedicated to the memory of Paul Hackman, who played on 3 of these tracks and was a co-writer on 8 of the tracks. He was/is a Canadian musical icon.
We have a very limited amount of CDs through a partnership with Perris Records to tie in with our very limited vinyl release. This new album is comprised of songs originally written between 1981-1989, but never were released. After reveiwing the old tapes Brian and the and realized these songs were to good not to be heard! So they pulled them out rerecorded some parts and left the original guitar tracks of Paul Hackman who originally recorded three of these tracks.This album is dedicated to the memory of Paul Hackman, who played on 3 of these tracks and was a co-writer on 8 of the tracks.
1. Coming Back With Bigger Guns
2. Whiskey Bent And Hellbound
3. If Tears Could Talk
4. Your Turn To Cry
5. Tie Me Down
6. Closer To You
7. Games Mother Never Taught You
8. Southern Comfort
9. Hound Dog Howlin’ Blues
Brian Vollmer – lead vocals, cowbell (1974–present)
Greg “Fritz” Hinz – drums, backing vocals
Daryl Gray – bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Kaleb “Duckman” Duck – guitar
Chris Julke – guitar
Paul Hackman – guitar
Sam Reid – piano
Release Date: August 30, 2019