The Party of Helicopters – Please Believe It

The Party of Helicopters
Please Believe It

We cover a pretty wide array of genres of independent music on here, from punk to hardcore to emo to metal to post-rock (and folk and ambient and more), but those latter aside, every bit of the former genres are incorporated into this one absolutely astounding release by The Party of Helicopters. In eight years and 10 releases, POH has honed their craft but come no closer to fitting into any cookie-cutter genre. Rather, they mix everything together into one great pot, pouring out great big guitar riffs, intricate and powerful rhythms, power chords and sweet vocals.
It’s as if Cave In’s prog-metal leanings were leant to a garage band, or as if Dinosaur Jr. came back from the dead to jam with the Fucking Champs. All over the spectrum on their latest full-length, the consistent quality of Please Believe It is rock. This band piles on intricate and powerful riffs and power percussion, adding to the mix Joe Dennis’ unique, high-pitched vocals.
From the very first guitar riff, you know this is going to be something different, as the vocals come in singing “This ain’t punk rock enough for my ears, I’m outta here.” The band proceeds to rip apart the indie rock scene on “The Good Punk,” then takes on partying (“Risking Up is Hard Work (Let’s Just Sit Here)”, bitching cars (“Delta ’88”), and mustaches (“The Toucher”), all with a sly nod toward double-entendre and a greater-than-thou attitude that at once has you laughing at those who fit into the band’s content while feeling a tad guilty for taking yourself too seriously.
At heart, this band, I suspect, is a live band, the kind of band that wants to play for an audience. That’s evident on the stellar bass and drums that provide a kind of groove to the almost pretty at times “Mic My Mind,” and the slick and almost teasing “Rising Up is Hard Work.” “Never Ending Cycle” is even almost poppy, reminding one of early Replacements, perhaps. The four-piece shows their talent as Jamie Stillman’s guitars roll and rock in a corkscrew around the rhythm and Dennis’ vocals on the stellar “Cover Me,” perhaps the band’s best song. The band’s edgy, guitar-driven sound and unique vocals might bring to mind Dinosaur Jr., as evidence on the edgy guitarwork of “Delta ’88.” And “Science Reasons” just flat-out rocks.
I don’t know if Velocette Records is cornering the market on astounding, genre-bending rock bands, but like Jucifer before them, the Party of Helicopters can not be labeled. It can and should, however, be blasted full-bore from your car while screaming along to the lyrics this summer. This album makes MTV’s garage-rock bands look wimpy and your die-hard hardcore bands look sloppy and weak. That says it all.