Like Times New Viking, Helvetia reminds us of a font, but we know ancient Swiss history well enough not to be fooled (uh, merci, Wiki). Plus, this is guitar-centric rocking pop of a different sort. The Seattle duo — featuring 2/3 of Duster — can conjure a bit of Built To Spill in frontman Jason Albertini’s voice and exploratory guitars. We thought maybe we were just hearing things, but no — Helvetia’s toured with BTS in the past, are doing so again soon, and their lineup’s fleshed-out live by members of Doug Martsch’s elder band. Not enough jammy incest? Well, their forthcoming album The Acrobats was recorded by BTS guitarist Jim Roth and includes guest spots from Spill’s ranks (along with members of Arthur & Yu and Mike Johnson & the Evil Doers). Wonder if “Acrobats” refers to Albertini’s guitars? Take a listen to two songs from the new one after the jump and invent your own baseless theories.
The opening guitar of “Old New Bicycle” is really slippery — nice. Not that they ever get unslippery (pay attention at the 1:25 mark). And congrats on those funky shuffling drums, Dove Amber. Sorta hippie, totally locked-in cool. By the time you get to “Blasting Carolina” you should get the sense of these all-over-the-fret-board guitars and hold steady drums. The dreamy multi-tracked vocals? Bonus. We’re totally flashing back to the glory days of Up Records here. And anyone remember Mohinder? Crazy. Keep up with the boys at MySpace. They’re tricky and have more material posted at this Space, too.
The Acrobats is out 3/25 on Static Cult.