Obviously, Mary (ex-Autoclave) is a cool girl with an impeccable voice. Lyrically she’s improved since “American Jean”—listen to this: “give me eyes like yours/so I can cry like you do/make me rude/make me a brute,” then she sings “I hate looking pretty” with such a sneer the word pretty sounds anything but. And the songs rock too, especially when they recall GNR, like the start of “Wanna be a Vampire too, baby”. I don’t know if Helium got louder (than the first single) cause Mary got self-conscious and wanted to bury her vocals or just because, but I dig it. “I’ll get you, I mean it” is an on-target quip about that snoggable boy who refuses to exit your psyche: “you better catch me or I’ll kill you.” Sinister guitars, melodies that make my head sway lazily, and words that make me strain to hear equals cozily disturbing pop that rocks.
By Gail, Chickfactor #5 , winter 94
[uh, Clarissa dear, I reviewed this in CF5-gail] Rock music as a means of inducing synaesthesia is a very new idea. It’s amazing that the first real attempt at it work sso well. If you have finished listening to this and not had the multisensory hallucinations that go with it, it wasn’t loud enough. Breathe deep and it won’t hurt you. It islike being face-down on a scary mattress in Amsterdam, hot at twilight. Somebody is drawing chocolate Popsicle in a line down your back. Let the hollowness of all the noises guide you, and the hollow calliope sound at the end will lead you out.
By Clarissa Chickfactor #6 summer 94
Sometimes I get nuts over bands, and right now I’m really crazy over Helium. It’s rather strange, because when my friend played Helium for me a few months ago, I didn’t really like it. But after seeing them play a few times, I believe they’ve totally won me over. Imagine a beefed up soundtrack for that old Nintendo game Castlevania. Everything about this is great. The spooky guitars, the vocals, the arrangements, the packaging, and the overall character. “XXX” and “Love $$” are amazingly crafted songs. And I love the and the is amazing and you get the picture. Dig It! Yeah! Huh.
By Andrew from Trash Heap #3