Helpless – Debt

Running at around the 22-minute mark you’d be forgiven for thinking that Debt by Helpless (Holy Roar) would be somewhat light on the ground. You’d be wrong, what’s on offer is in fact incredibly densely packed and utterly intense assault on the senses. From opening track ‘Worth’ until the last track ‘Denied Sale’ there is one of the rawest and intense musical experiences I’ve heard in a long while. Simply put if this album was any longer it could be legitimately dangerous.

Despite the short length of most track, they contain more ideas than are usually found on songs of greater length. Whilst superficially this might closest resemble a grind album, the underlying feel owes more to the dissonance of sludge, and the song structures of post-rock. The riffs and ideas come thick and fast on the album as it rages around like a wounded animal, both dangerous and mesmerising in equal measure.

The focus involved here means that each track has a refined, almost weapons grade viciousness to it. This isn’t some sort of show, there’s no doubt that they are channelling this with every fibre of their being, and it creates an incredible potent atmosphere. Given the short length it’s difficult to pinpoint any particular track as being a standout, rather the album taken as a whole is genuinely something special.

There’s a real sense when listening to this album that you’re getting a brief glimpse, a moment of connectivity with that dark unspoken primal aggression that lies at the core of modern humanity. The sense that the brief moment of laser like focus, that rare glimpse of absolute single-minded conviction that comes when giving way to anger has been really captured on record.

 

This is the kind of music that makes you want to punch god in the face, so the name of the label Holy Roar, seems especially apt for this release. I now need a lie-down and a chill out to hope to function as a legitimate member of society again.

9.0/10

RICH PRICE