- Party of Helicopters
Do you suspect your indie/emo/hardcore band is enjoying a meteoric spike in popularity primarily due to your goddamn virtuoso guitarist? You've dialed the right hotline. Dave Knudson's so-fresh/so-clean finger-tapping enriches Minus the Bear's plaintive purr, but may ultimately typecast the quintet; on the flipside, only Teppei Teranishi's lush glam licks vault Thrice a few notches above typical, radio-ready emo crapola.
Where does Kent's perpetually buzzin' Party of Helicopters land on this spectrum? Over the last eight years, heshers and hoodie rats alike have left their gigs gushing about Jamie Stillman's reaper-fearing fretboard theatrics, but luckily, that's not where the conversations end. On the recent Velocette release Please Believe It, Stillman's outrageous riffing snakes comfortably between bassist Ryan Brannon and drummer Corey Race's aggressive/progressive rhythms. It seems the Helicopters are hovering just above a creative renaissance, famously doling out free samples of My Bloody Valentine, the Fucking Champs, Sabbath, and Hum, often within the same song, all beneath the wry falsetto quiver of frontman Joe Dennis. At the end of the day, though, Stillman is the Human Highlight Reel; the staccato jangle that gives way to two monster bends in "The Toucher" is the sonic equivalent of Jordan's '87 foul-line dunk.