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Helms [bio]

Band Photo

Tina McCarthy (bass)
Sean McCarthy (vocals, guitar)
Dan McCarthy (drums)

Helms has its roots in the Massachusetts peninsula of Cape Cod, breeding ground in the early-to-mid '90s for a surprising number of quality "post-rock" musicians who later went on to comprise such other bands as Victory at Sea, Robots, and Lynx. Sean McCarthy's first notable band appearance was in 1994 as guitarist for Milkmoney, seemingly a forerunner to the rock sub-genre of slowcore that gained popularity as the decade progressed. His brother Dan drummed for Dagobah, whose sound was an instrumentally heavy marriage of progressive rock and hardcore. By 1996, Sean founded The Television Set with Tina McCarthy (at the time Tina Helms) making her debut on bass, and this band eventually transformed into Helms when Dan replaced their drummer. There was one name stop along the way as The Swimmer. This moniker was dumped when a major label band released a record under a similar name. The Swimmer eventually became the title of their 2000 debut album on Kimchee Records, released following an EP shared with Victory at Sea. A second full-length, McCarthy, had a November 2002 release.

The Helms experience often consists of equal amounts delicacy and power. The band expertly veers from softer hypnotic passages into precipitous cacophony, all the while maintaining total navigational control. Accompanying these sonic vestments is what appears on first listen to be somewhat inconsequential lyric imagery using the ephemera of modern-day culture. Closer attention can lead one to the big picture truths such fables portend. Helms' musical narrative, although marinated in that post-something aural tradition, is original and always compelling.


McCarthy (2002 Kimchee Records)

The Giant Rock 'N' Roll Swindle compilation with BS2000, The Hives, Modest Mouse, and more (2002 Fork in Hand Records)

Mister Records 1.5 compilation (2001 Mister Records)

The Swimmer (2000 Kimchee Records)

Helms & Victory at Sea split EP (2000 Kimchee Records)

Halcyon Days compilation as The Swimmer (1999 Westerly Records)

In My Living Room compilation as The Television Set (1999 Kimchee Records)

Ex-members of

Milkmoney, Dagobah, The Television Set

Performed with

The Mercury Program, Tristeza, The Dismemberment Plan, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Karate, June of '44, The Sorts



Last modified: Friday, 25-Jun-2010 14:16:36 PDT   [ Catalog | Bands | Listen | Who we are | Contact | Press ]