The Helio Sequence, “The Helio Sequence”

The_Helio_Sequence-2015-self_titled_cover_artThe Helio Sequence
The Helio Sequence
SUB POP
8/10

It’s always kind of curious when a band holds off on having a self-titled album for years and years, and then just decides to go for it. Do they mean to say that this is their crowning achievement? An album so defining that it needs no other comment? Or are they creatively bankrupt to the point that even naming the damn thing was too much trouble? In the case of The Helio Sequence, Portland indie-vets now on their sixth full-length, the answer is absolutely not the latter—and quite possibly the former—as the duo’s latest is an ambitious, smart, and memorable collection of crisply produced clean-channel rock that shows all the newcomers how it’s done. Tracks like “Red Shifting” and “Upward Mobility” may seem fussy at first, but the chaos settles on repeated listens, and what rises to the surface is distinctly compelling. For The Helio Sequence, no further titling distinction is necessary.

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