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"Live Show Review"

If you were ever a fifteen year old girl, full of angst and doubt, then you can understand the appeal of Atlanta's Helios. The band came on stage last Saturday at the Georgia Theatre filled with energy and enthusiasm. They immediately began playing their set of pop-punk originals and several covers.

What first struck me about Helios was lead singer Carly Kane's powerful vocals. She's got this deep voice, as if she were the pop-punk princess version of Christina Aguilera. She's got this tough attitude, but a little girlish flair on the side.

Kane seemed like a veteran on stage, not affected by the (early) lack of participation down on the floor. She was very bubbly, and talked a lot to the audience. The entire band had a confident, rock-star attitude, which more than made up for the mediocre music.
They had perfectly rehearsed stage antics; from dueling guitars to perfectly timed jumping. One thing is for sure, Helios has stage presence. Unfortunately for them, Athens just isn't their scene. Audiences here are mostly into either jam-bands or the indie scene, and Helios just doesn't fit in those boxes. But that didn't keep them from trying.

Their original songs were heavy on the fast, distorted guitar riffs, and contained lyrics such as "Why does everyone try to break my heart?" Helios' music is filled with pre-teen torment and is something you could expect to hear on a large, urban market alternative radio station. They used a lot of pop-punk breakdowns, and Kane sometimes would play the tambourine for extra effect. Helios' music is very simple and unsurprising, long on drama and short on surprises. It was exactly what you would expect from a mainstream, radio-friendly band.

They got the most attention from the crowd when they played cover songs such as Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" and The Darkness' "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" (which was sung by guitarist Adam Johnson, and yes, he did hit the high notes). It seemed like the covers were a bit too, shall we say, contemporary, but it helped the Athenians to get more interested in the show.
Johnson would often move up to the edge of the stage, as if expecting throngs of young females to swarm around him. However, it seemed like most of the audience was a few feet away from the stage. This is perhaps the result of being one of the earlier bands to perform, but moves like that either succeed magnificently or fail completely.

The band's energy was contagious. Though most people were a little weary of Helios at first, their cover songs and the stage spectacle they put on eventually got most people rocking out, especially when they played The Outfield's "Your Love." Honestly, who can resist a little eighties nostalgia?
The show was more about watching the band's stage antics and observing their collective rock-star looks than about the music. But I guess once it seeps into your brain, it's impossible to deny that Helios's music is very catchy; it's the kind of music you complain that your little sister loves to listen to, but that you accidentally sing in your car. Can you say guilty pleasure?
- Athens Exchange.

"Review: Helios, Move Me EP"

Febuary 8th, 2006.
Written by Jessie Nelson

In order to fully appreciate this record, I have to go back remember what was playing on 99.1 HFS (D.C.'s equivalent of 99x) when I was still a radio listener. This was the age of Bush, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Dave Matthews Band. The year was 1996. More importantly, bands like No Doubt, Garbage, and Alanis Morisette ruled the charts. My first concert ever was Radiohead opening up for Alanis Morrisette on The Bends tour that year. Can you imagine?

No Doubt, Elastica, and Garbage led the way for female vocal bands like Luscious Jackson and Sleater-Kinney to end the underground riot grrrl movement and allow mainstream girl bands to flourish. Helios released their EP, Move Me, nine years after No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl" was number one on the charts, and in the world of girl music, things haven't changed a whole lot. Sleater-Kinney still releases albums to their dedicated audience and Garbage plays the Atlanta Music Conference, where Helios has also played.

As a whole, the album is precisely what it promises. The songs are safe and tragic, the sound is tight and well performed, but this EP rarely gets away from the radio rock formula, which is perfect for their audience.

The first song, "You Don't," opens like a Pearl Jam song, with distortion pedals on full blast, guitars strapped on firmly below the waist and the rock stance assumed. It's surprising to hear the female vocals at first, but they eventually blend in nicely with the rest of the radio sound. Rhyming words like "disinformation" and "fabrication," the lead singer, Carly Kane sings her heart out like a true believer. These rhyme schemes make it easy to memorize and sing along with the song. She has a gift for connecting with her audience.

Kane often sounds like she is slightly out of her vocal range. I kept wishing she'd sing a little lower because it would give her a sexy, sultry, balanced voice, instead of sounding like she's straining to have a "rocking" voice.

"So Me," the poppiest song on the EP and the one that stands out as the strongest, has potential but lacks in the lyric department. The chorus, for example, says, "I used to dream everything that I could be now I can't believe this is me, how did I come to be so me." Again, Kane knows how to reach her audience, if 15-year-old girls are the ones that buy records they hear on the radio. It has potential to be an anthem of insecurity to provide an alternative to Ashley Simpson for fans who want something a bit more rock and roll. I could see myself at that age trying to mimic Kane's voice belting out, "I'm so afraid of my own appearance," because as a younger person that's exactly what you want to be able to say, but can't yet articulate.

There are bands out there that are trying to "make it big," and there are bands out there that are trying to make something new. Helios seems like the type of band that wants to play big stages to sell-out audiences and have MTV feature their video onTRL. If this is what they want, then they are doing a good job at focusing their talents on a popular medium, giving teenagers a voice for their angst, and marketing their record towards those that still buy CDs.

http://www.athensexchange.com/archives/2006/02/review_helios_m.asp - www.AthensExchange.com

"Helios-Artist Spotlight"

CD/Song Compilation – Move Me
Genre: Rock
By Aaron S. Harris
The Atlanta, GA band, Helios is taking the Southeast by storm with their captivating songs. Their signature sound bundles together energizing music and vocals sung with conviction into one polished package. This band serves up an enticing mix of rock melodies infused with passion and delivered with precision. The five member, female-fronted group, Helios is Carly Kane (vocals), Adam Johnson (guitarist), David Norwood (guitarist), Josh Leblanc (bassist), and Kevin Grosklags (drums). Their creative efforts come together in a collaboration of original songs that lure you to the edge and challenge you to think.

After several years of hard work, dedication, and focused passion, Helios is beginning to glow bright on the radar screen. And, the group’s grassroots momentum isn’t showing signs of stopping anytime soon. They have performed at music festivals, opened for bands like Switchfoot and they even performed on the Chevrolet Cobalt launch tour. The first time I saw this band perform was back in 2005 during the Atlanta Music Conference. Since then, I’ve noticed that Helios has developed into a group of seasoned stage performers with songwriting maturity.

Recently, I was able to spend time getting to know this very talented, determined band in-person after a show. I was impressed with their responses and the genuine desire to make an impact through their music. In this spotlight article, I will share some of the conversation I had with Helios, a band that is doing their part to change the world by being a positive voice. Enjoy!

ASH: How did you come up with the name?

CK: I was sitting in church one day and my pastor was talking about the original meaning of some words and how they’ve changed over time. The message was about a whole lot more but, at one point he referred to heaven as Helios. He was talking about all of the glory and grandeur that is a part of heaven. I just loved the name and the image that is put in your head about all these great things.

©2006 Used Film

I said if the band ends up changing its name or we need it for something else, we’re totally using Helios.

ASH: You’re Christians but, you’re playing at secular venues, Why is that?

AJ: Basically, it was one of those things where the band was primarily performing at churches in the beginning and other places every now and then. It came to the point where we realized playing at church was not part of the plan because we were reaching out to people who already knew what we were talking about.

DN: Of course, we want to encourage Christians but our heart is really for people who don’t know God.
AJ: The fact of the matter is that most people don’t listen to music, they hear it. There are tons of people who run up to us at shows or reach out to us online and have no idea what we’re about. The big question is “What makes Christian Music?” You don’t have to put the word Jesus in every song anymore. We can take the obvious words out and the message is still there.

CK: Some people are really funny about whether you’re Christians in a band or your band is Christian but, to me it’s like why does that matter? You live your life a certain way and when religion is part of it, it affects the way your write, perform and do everything. For people to expect it not to affect our lives is insane. So, why limit yourselves to playing only at churches? That limits us from doing what we feel like we’re supposed to be doing.

ASH: Do you pray before your performances?

CK: Yes. Because it’s part of who we are and for us, this is who we want to be. And, it’s not really about us anyway. We’re not all about being rock stars. We’re about the music and what we represent.

DN: You have to think that everyone comes from a different background and a lot of people are offended by the church. So, we try to live our lives in such a way that we represent through what we do. It’s like what Andy Stanley from North Point Community Church said in a message recently about us being salt of the Earth in everything we do and how that affects people around you. So, we want to be in an environment where people need salt.

ASH: Josh, you were in the band when Helios went around with Chevrolet and did the Cobalt tour. Tell me about that experience:

JL: We went down to Daytona and Panama City in Florida to play a few shows. The people and the response were amazing. They called us back on stage for a triple encore! We actually ran out of songs to play.

DN: That was another opportunity we had to be salt because it was Spring Break weekend. There were a lot of people who came up and talked to us afterwards who may have been a little too drunk to remember but, we tried to really meet them where they were at and to talk with them about God.

ASH: Kevin, you’re pretty much the newest member of the band. How did you join the group?

KG: I was deliveri - Christian Pulse Magazine


"Move Me"-EP
"Move Me" has been featured on 99x and "You Don't" has been featured on Star 94. Tracks are also being played on College radio in Georgia and South Carolina.



When talking to Carly Kane, front woman for the Atlanta-based rock/pop band Helios, you realize right away why she is a musician – because she truly loves it. That heart comes out in each and every song she performs with band members Josh Leblanc (bassist), David Norwood (guitarist), Adam Johnson (guitarist) and their newest addition Kevin Grosklags (drums). Helios’ chemistry and hard work were manifested when they recorded the EP “Move Me” (Summer 2004) but it is through their energetic live performances that they continue to gain a following.

Helios’ grass roots efforts proved positive having been invited to perform on a tour for Chevrolet to help launch their new Chevy Cobalt. This gained them respect with local Atlanta radio station 99X (WNNX) who tapped them to open for Garbage during their Downtown Rocks concert series in conjunction with the Atlantis Music Conference in August 2005. With continued and unbreakable passion, things have snowballed ever since. They have been featured in an international news story for CNN, have performed for numerous festivals including “Fusion Tour ‘06” and continue to be featured on many radio stations in the southeast including 99X (WNNX) and Star 94 (WSTR).

Helios has hit their stride and are currently working on their second EP with Zach Hodges (producer of Anberlin) due out early summer 2007.