My first time playing with the Helligans was last November in Billings MT. We were set up at a collective space where the sound guy decided mid-show to pull his equipment and leave because we were all dancing "too aggressively" around the speakers or some half-assed excuse like that. This was right before the Helligans played, so myself and the other few bands threw our speakers together and built a ghetto PA out of a powered speaker and a few bass amps. The band's singer, Mike, took out a harmonica mic and plugged it in. Unphased by any of this, the band got to work and put on one bad-ass performance. Man we all drank a lot that night. I'm surprised that I remembered that!

 

Anyhow, the Helligans have just released a record titled "One Bad Apple" and I found it a great listen for many reasons. This record covers a wide range of styles, and the only way to properly describe it in one sentence is by using the Helligan's self description: "Hillbilly Pirate Punk Metal."

 

My attention was grabbed right at the first track off the release, "Rather Die", which is a hyper-negative reflection on romance. The album goes along steadily with excellent portrayal of rockabilly-style guitar playing, the occasional washboard cameo, a variety of percussion and talented (often hilarious) vocal inflections. Just when I was getting really involved with the record the music stopped. In this silence someone on the CD piped up and yelled: "Yeah, come on! Put it in your ass!"

 

That beautiful song is called: "Aborted at Fourteen." As we all know, vulgarities and inappropriate content such as that does nothing other than melt my heart. I want to write them a letter and tell them: "You had me at hello."

 

The final number that stuck out to me amidst the other solid Hillbilly Pirate Punk Metal was the rendition of the old sailor traditional "Drunken Sailor". The Helligans' portrayal of this number kept me singing along, and definitely made me want to drink (in a good way). A lot of bands re-do traditional music, and not many of them can pull it off. The Helligans put a creative spin on "Drunken Sailor", and I can't wait to hear that one live!

 

Not sure when I'm playing with these dudes and girl again, but hopefully it will be sooner than later. For the fun that we had at the last show and the good tunes that they just put out I wouldn't miss a chance to see them again!

 

Visit the Helligans Reverbnation Page!

 

Buy their CD (highly recommended) here!

 

Have a listen!

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Ando Ehlers | 
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