Helen 55 | Amped

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United States - California - LA

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Metal/Punk: Alternative Metal Rock: Modern Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Amped

by Helen 55

alternative metal ambient punk rock sounds
Genre: Metal/Punk: Alternative Metal
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Spinner
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3:37 $0.99
2. Music
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3:22 $0.99
3. Colorized
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3:20 $0.99
4. Underground
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3:06 $0.99
5. Cool Imperfections
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2:39 $0.99
6. Hey Mom
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2:14 $0.99
7. Firefly
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3:22 $0.99
8. California
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4:11 $0.99
9. Dumb Summer
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3:24 $0.99
10. The Taste of Sick
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2:50 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Formed in North Hollywood, CA in 1997, Helen 55 rose from the ashes of Los Angeles hardcore acts Honeycomb and STS. Guitarist Shon Kornfeld (Honeycomb) and bassist D Valles (STS) found drummer Ian Perriera, and began creating their own blend of melodic, yet aggressive music. Honeycomb vocalist Ronnie was brought in, and soon the band was playing live and sharing stages with such acts as System of a Down, Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm and many more. The first 3 song demo was physically traded around the world for months, and soon h55 was online with 3 fan-made sites before their "Official" site was ever launched!

The band parted ways with Ian Perriera in 1998 and replaced him with Ford An. A new batch of songs were written and recorded at their own rehearsal/recording studio. The first CD "Amped" was released independantly in 1999, and sold over 1,000 copies. They replaced Ford An with Jerry Vidal in 2000 and soon after changed the band name to Fontaine. The 2nd CD, "The Wedding EP" was again independantely released, and the band played live in support of it for about a year before basically disbanding. Kornfeld and Valles would record another demo and play a few shows under the name Fontaine with new singer Sheldon Tarsha and x-Crazy Town drummer Kyle Hollinger in 2003.

Highlights of h55's career include being on MTV's "Snowed In Undercover", being interviewed by Matt Pinfield and filmed for Farmclub TV, and playing with lots of great bands, traveling, meeting and rocking new people.

Earlier in 2005, h55 guitarist Shon Kornfeld released "Helen 55 LIVE @ The Whisky" on his site http://www.shon.info, 7 songs of mostly unreleased h55 material.

Currently, work is underway on a "new" Helen 55 record. The first 3-song demo came from a 10-song recording session that was never finished.. however, Kornfeld recently finished the music for the record. Vocals will be recorded soon and the album will be available here on CD Baby!


Reviews


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Wookubus

Great disc, great songs, great band!
Helen 55 fuse melody with early 90's reminiscent NY hardcore, topping it all
off with a bit of a modern nu-metal riffage... The bands two vocalists trade off parts tightly between each other, with gripping hard edged chants and screamed out verses very similar to Page Hamilton of Helmet coloring the more heated side of this CD, while lulling emocore styled choruses and verses on the other hand can cradle the listener into a dazed state, all before dropping them flat on their ass to a song structure that gives out plunging the listener into a fiery auditory fury... But don't be fooled the band isn't a one trick pony at all, they can even reverse this process starting out with heavy riffage and snarling vocal releases that can fade into lush environments putting the listener trough the motions... The band itself is very good at what they do, some highlights of their music include their ability too not fall victim to typical song patterns such as verse/chorus/verse or verse/chorus/breakdown instead they mix it all up and surprise with differing parts and unexpected changes... Another good quality to the bands music is they don't muddle their vibe by having to make every song contain heavy or drastically changing parts, they use dynamics, but not in the conventional way instead relying on the music to channel the progression, where most bands mainly rely on the vocals, plus they separate straight emo/pop songs from the more vicious ones giving a more purified vision of the music they make... Perhaps the most standout track on this album is "Hey Mom", although it doesn't give a clear representation of the bands sound, it's catchy emo sensibilities grip tightly. For a more aggravated approach to the bands sound a recommendation would be the track "Spinner" which gives a peek into the more virulent side of the band, blending swaying melody and aggression back and forth without the predictability of most who try to accomplish such a feat... Helen 55 are a well crafted band with a vibrant soundscape and excellent melody in their arsenal, perhaps a bit cleaner focus of aggression is all this band needs to make it to the top, if you want some solid resonant emotional melodies combined with malicious hardcore like chants than look no further, because there's more than 55 reasons to pick up Helen 55!

Lesa Pence

Awesome!!!
I recently received a copy of 'Amped', the newest, full-length, indie release. During the first listen, my ears were in a bit of shock due to the sheer production and polish of hearing the band on a level other than hearing them live. I didn't quite know what to think or how to react. But after my third and fourth round, and a pleasant listen of the same CD on the Troubadour's killer, overhead, sound system last night in between bands on 'Free Mondays', I got that push I needed. I like it. In fact, I like it a lot. First, you'll want to hear this one loud. Second, make sure your system is worthy of what Helen 55 is putting out. Take 'Spinner ' for example. This is the first track on the CD. It's like having smooth and crunchy peanut butter at the same time. It crunches, it flows, and it totally sticks. The underlying guitar and bass lines (expertly executed by none other than band spokesperson and main lyricist, Shon Kornfeld, and by bass player, D. Valles) are so familar that you will drive yourself nuts trying to figure out where you've heard it before if you're not entirely 'at one' with the CD yet. Once you are, however, you won't forget again. Continue your listening experience and you will arrive at a track called
'Music'. The chorus on this one is what will grab you by the ears and spin your head around. How can you miss with a song that has a chorus as passionate as this? "Music, that's the only thing that's been true to me." Someone has perfectly described true adoration of his craft. Helen 55 is one of those bands that people will really get behind and support. I feel that already. At a club one night, I asked the sound guy what he was playing, before I knew the band very well. And he said to me, with this proud, "I stand
behind this band 1000%" look on his face - "It's Helen 55." Period. No
embellishment. No elaboration. Just ...bam! The music speaks for itself. So, enough already; I'm not giving you anything more for free. Go get this CD. Beg, borrow, or steal; just do what you need to do. Trust me on this one and just get it.

ColorBlind


The March band of the month, Helen 55, truly delivers with their latest release "Amped." For those of you who haven't heard, Helen 55 is beautiful ensamble of soothing vocals to harsh growls, backed by creative guitar riffs and a stong rythem section. With their ability to switch gears within seconds their sound is amazing! Tracks such as "Music," "California," and "The Taste of Sick" brilliantly represents this. Helen 55 is uncomparable in the scene, bring a beautifully chaotic sound, at times filling you with happiness and posativety and the next turn around to pummel you, this is absolutely perfect. The vocals of Helen 55 has the most pleaseing of singing abilities, with so much range and diversity it is something to behold, you can actually feel the emotion that he has running through him, pouring out through the music and taking you in. About two years ago I recieved the first Helen 55 demo which contained "Dumb Summer" and "The Taste of Sick" on it, which are also tracks 9 and 10 on the new disc, these two tracks alone drew me
in and made me anticipate this album in the worst of ways. Helen 55 is an
amazing group with a bright future, so get your ass up, check out the website, order the CD and don't let Helen 55 pass you by!

Verse Chorus Verse


Helen 55 are an American band who are trying to promote themselves primarily through the internet. I would say that's it's safe to assume that Korn are one of their major influences - as the singer screams rather than sings most of the time. But that's not exactly a bad thing if you like that kind of
music. Having said that, it would be presumptuous to simply dismiss this as modern US metal a la Korn. It does consist of a lot of heavy guitars. and
shouty vocals, with hard-hit drums, lots of swearing, etc. then there's the
other singer, who actually sings some good harmonies, and makes you think that this isn't just the same old thing re-hashed over and over again. Standout tracks include 'Hey Mom' - one of the less heavy tracks on the
album, 'Firefly' - which is a little reminiscant of Rage Against The Machine (with a little lessshouting), 'Dumb Summer' - which has some Smashing Pumpkinesque harmonies, and 'Music' - what seems to be an unashamed metal fest, but isn't (quite) as heavy as it first appears. The first time I listened to it I thought 'This all sounds the same - I'm going to slate it', but then after 2 or 3 listens I'd changed my mind. A few listens later and I love it - it just gets better with every listen, just so long as you're in the mood. If you're not in the mood for something with a bit of energy, then you should stick to something a little less demanding on your senses. Sure, it's a little raw around the edges, but that just makes it better. I''ve heard much worse releases from major label bands - and you can tell that Helen 55 actually believe in their music, which seems to be a rarity in the business these days. 9/10 - Album of the month

CD Baby


So, maybe I'm becoming an old square, but my biggest complaint about metal these days is the lack of any discernible vocal melodies, combined with the attitude that lyrics and singing are secondary to plain out and out unbridled rocking. Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate some grinding riffs as much as the next fan, but I also think the vocals are integral. Which brings me to why I like this record so much. The burrowing riffs are there, the guttural screaming is there, but it's all offset with some powerful singing that maintains a much needed balance within this gang of songs. Also, the lyrics here are worth understanding and it's reassuring to be able to decipher a good portion of them. Don't fret, this is not to say that the music is not heavy, because it is, sometimes almost frighteningly so. However, it seems to be this Jekyll and Hyde approach that makes this album so damn fun to listen to.

Billy J

Awwwwesome !
This is great stuff!!!!.... To me, it has shades of Tool mixed with Helmet, but doesn't sound exactly like either one.... Just what the Metal Doctor ordered !