get one thing straight: Back For Another Taste was Helix' best album.
It's marred by both tragedy and triumph, but musically it has not been
topped by this band.
First, the tragedy. After 16 years in Helix,
"Dr." Brent Doerner departed midway through the making of this album.
Although he'd come back briefly for the next album, this was the real
end of his tenure in Helix. His absense was never quite filled. Second
and most importantly, also after 16 years in Helix, Paul Hackman was
killed during the band's Western Canadian tour. Their tourbus driver
fell asleep and Hackman was thrown from the vehicle. He died on the way
Suiting, then, that these rock veterans' last album should be so excellent.
First single "The Storm" kicks it up with a Doors-like groove and some
amazing guitar bits from Hackman. Vollmer's singing had never sounded so
fresh, not since the early days. Fritz' drumming is stellar, but it
gets even better: Wait until you hear "Running Wild In The 21st
Century". It's still a staple of Helix' live set today. The video for
this track won them a prestigious MuchMusic video award. The third
single, "Good To The Last Drop" also garnered much video and radio play,
deservedly so. It's a "power ballad" and an amazing one at that. (Note:
The version of "Good To The Last Drop" here is different from the
single mix, it lacks the keyboard part. That version is available
You've heard the demo of "Give It To You" on the
previous years' "Over 60 Minutes With Helix" compilation, but here it's
fleshed out in a properly recorded album version. "Breakdown" is a dark,
moody song with an excellent chorus, perhaps forshadowing the coming
tragedy. "Rockin' Rollercoaster" & "Midnight Express" are two of the
catchiest songs that Brian or Paul have ever written, and "Wheels Of
Thunder" & "Heavy Metal Cowboys" are two of the heaviest!
There are some surprises on the album as well. Brian Doener, one of
Canada's finest musicians, former Helix drummer, and Brent Doerner's
brother, plays drums on three tracks, classin' up the place as always.
Brent stuck around long enough to record two guitar solos. Let's not
forget longtime bassist Daryl Gray either, he's laying down some
excellent grooves on "The Storm", enjoying some of the spotlight.
When Back For Another Taste was first released in 1990, it revitalized
Helix's career, if only temporarily, but it still sounds fresh and
exciting. If you don't own any Helix yet, this album is an excellent
choice to start. It had three singles and the album tracks were anything
but filler. If you do own some Helix stuff, but not this...why the heck