Allout Helter - The Notion of Control (Cover Artwork)

Allout Helter

The Notion of Control (2017)

bird attack records

Nostalgia is a big seller these days; whether it is television, movies or music it seems as if people are looking for a happy reminder of days past. Denver’s Allout Helter bring out a sound that may not travel as far back as the 1980’s, but the sound on The Notion of Control brings me right back to Warped Tour 2001.

Allout Helter’s sound falls somewhere in between the gruff style of bands like Hot Water Music and Polar Bear Club and the speed and metallic influences of late 1990’s skate punk. The band does an impressive job instrumentally, ripping solos and guitar leads are scattered throughout the record, as well as fast and precise drums. The Notion of Control bounces back and forth between a melodic hardcore yell and nicely placed subtle melody.

Propagandhi is yet another influence that shines brightly throughout The Notion of Control, both in a musical and lyrical sense. The band does a good job of adding thrash elements and fast palm mutes that enhance the punch of their skate punk sound. Unfortunately where Allout Helter fall a bit short for me is with their lyrical placement and flow. The band is more than capable of writing a catchy and fitting melody, but at times the lyrics feel a bit wordy and awkward. This is not a major flaw, and I feel as if some of the jagged and lengthy verses may grow on the listener after repeated listens, but it might create difficulty for those fans that wish to sing along without cue cards. The lyrical content covers topics from gun control, the political climate and other social issues, which also draws a comparison to Canada’s Propagandhi.

Allout Helter feel like a band that are still working to fully find themselves. With each release the songs sound more cohesive and melodic than the last record, and I think this will benefit the band in the future. The Notion of Control is a strong and well-written skate punk record for 2017, but as the band continues to grow, more progression is inevitable. The future looks bright for this up and coming punk rock band and despite a few stumbles that are present on The Notion of Control, I look forward to hearing future material.