Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two Helens - Reflections in Red (Sharko 2, 1986)

Here's one of my more recent after-the-fact-finds.  Twenty-five years late better than never.  Scotland's Two Helens strike me as the kind of band that so many of my fellow bloggers would likely to typecast "darkwave."  More post-punk than all else if you ask me, demonstrably evidenced by "Heaven and Hell's" chilly, throbbing pulse, a la early Siouxsie (though it's a male singer here).  Things get even better mid-album thanks to the doubly more enticing "The Curve," sheering a layer or two of fuzz off The Jesus and Mary Chain's Pyschocandy to sublime effect, with "Write This Letter" inching not too far behind.  The first eight tracks comprise the Reflections in Red album proper, with the remainder apparently taken from a follow-up single.  The biographical blurb below was culled from the notes of a T/H YouTube clip.  My sincere thanks to whomever posted it.

The Band was initially formed by Ian Murray, who recruited Alan Whyte, Mark Dickson and Robert Greenaway. Extensive gigging throughout Scotland led to B.B.C. Radio Scotland play, which in turn led to a deal with local label, Sharko 2. Their debut album, "Reflections In Red" was released in 1986, followed by a single "Silver & Gold" in 1987. The band supported Flesh For Lulu on some Scottish dates. Played by John Peel on his show and also on BBC World Service, the band flourished. For a while things looked superb after charting at home and in Europe. After more exposure and press, the band were offered a Scandinavian tour. However, due to promotional difficulties the tour fell through... a month later, the band split. In 2003, Ian, Mark and Alan decided to reform the band, as a trio. Further experiments by the band as a trio turned out to prove a potent sound, as big as it ever was. RELEASES: "Reflections In Red" (vinyl album, Sharko 2, 1986) "Silver & Gold" (7 inch vinyl, Sharko 2, 1987).

01. Heaven and Hell
02. The Top of a Tall Tree
03. Reflections in Red
04. Cold and Blind
05. The Curve
06. All the Money
07. Spiritual Thing
08. Write This Letter
09. Silver and Gold
10. 15 Rhythm
11. Gun

2 comments:

johnnyhoodoo said...

Hi.I am Ian Murray from Two Helens. Firstly thank you for this post.I have to tell you that we never ever supported Flesh for Lulu.Also our LP and single never charted unless you count Indie type charts.Thanks again.

spavid said...

Thanks Ian.