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June 13, 2024

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The Helio Sequence
COM PLEX (Cavity Search Records)

By: Kim Berhorst

Dreamy, moody, spacey - hard-hitting drums, slippery loops. Some Brit-poppy, Nu-wave revival, some Love and Rockets straightforward intensity. In kind: My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab, even a little Cure, come darker moments. Since their brilliant debut in 1999's NXNW festival, the Helio Sequence has done Portland well. COM PLEX includes new-version picks from their debut/self-released EP, a customized version of Lennon and McCartney's "Tomorrow Never Knows," and a poignant love song in "My Heart." What's lacking is breathing space - overzealous effects tend to choke out the vocals, and the synth padding is slightly over-heavy for my taste. Considering that COM PLEX is their first album, neither Brandon Summers (vocals/guitar) nor Benjamin Weikel (keyboards/drums/vocals) is over 21, and they produced, recorded and mastered it themselves, this duo's got dynamic poise.
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