Helvetia
The Acrobats
The Static Cult Label
***
Well, when your sophomore release has you opening for Built To Spill and a newly reunited Meat Puppets, you must be doing something right, or at the very least something the notoriously finicky Dough Martsch likes. Where Helvetia’s debut The Clever North Wind was a bed-sit album of the most pleasurable order, The Acrobats offers a decidedly different vibe. More actual “band” songs, more intricate and trippy guitar passages, more heroic solos, more time changes, etc… more of everything in general. It sounds like Jason Albertini spent a year hitting the bong and bobbing his head to a pile of 60s French pop and zoned out 70s Kraut-rock records. Gone are the crafted electronics and ambient guitar ruminations that put Helvetia so fondly in the hearts of twee indie pop lovers everywhere. This is not necessarily a bad thing.—Arlie Carstens