Helen of Troy – The Desperation EP

Helen of Troy
The Desperation EP

It seems in New York, NY these days there are a lot of Saetia type bands displaying intense expression at times but coming up a bit short. Helen Of Troy is a two-year-old collaboration of five musicians formed into a project, one of which a former member of State Secedes. At first sight, I was certain this was going to be a great Japanese import. The label threw me off. These guys are from the US and look to have toured on this three-song first release by way of a full-length on the way.
“Absence of Vowels,” the fist song, is quite a bit emo in trickling guitar picks and break downs. The song follows through in duel vocals – one singing and one repeating in regular speech – then diving into a screaming aggression until going back down again. The guitars are aggressive as well, strumming distortedly during chorus in even motions in somewhat of a hardcore manor. This is one of those songs you picture seeing live while listening, especially as it nears the end and the faint sound of machine effect comes in as the song quiets.
“To Kill Two Birds” begins as more rock-driven guitar but leads into the hardcore furious oriented song of the release. I didn’t enjoy this song, particularly because nothing stands out from ordinary music inside every record store and every opening act these days. Nothing negative or bad, just plain in a hardcore screamo since that is the scene lately. Then comes “A Saint Among Madmen.” More of a haunting instrumental concentrated sound overlapped by again duel voices, some whispering at parts and a main vocal track in words spoken until a break down of screaming begins in a short period. Its creative stir of energy and suspense put me back in my seat at the arena in the dark waiting when I was younger as the lights go out and announcers or sounds surpass silence, waiting for a huge rockstar to take stage. It’s exciting and nerve racking and relaxing all into one. You’re afraid to make out what the words are saying or what whispers are telling you and the plucking of guitar strings echoes.
Independent and promising make up for the later mentioned, and the follow-up to this EP seems something worth looking into.