The Heligoats are an indie band hailing from Bellingham, Washington. They recently released their long-awaited second album, Back To The Ache, on March 19. Fronted by Chris Otepka of the Chicago-based band Troubled Hubble, this record highlights The Heligoats’ ability to mesh acoustic guitar into their songs along with the electric guitars to create the atmosphere. Examples of this mixing of electric and acoustic can be heard on the album opener “Good Morning,” “Drai Zich,” and “Sulfur, Baby.” Acoustic chords are strummed over an electric soundscape. “Good Morning” also showcases Otepka’s distinct vocal style and lyrical content. His simple lyrics flow out in such a brilliant way that he makes his own. This technique can be seen in “Dancing To The Blues,” “Sleep Study,” and most notably, “Right Then And There.” The energy in his voice can be matched by the upbeat music in some of the songs.

“Arizona, Baby” and “Dark” are very energetic, being driven by riffs as opposed to creating an atmosphere in the background, which makes them stand out from the others due to this riff-based sound. On the other end of the spectrum, the record also features several songs that create more peaceful and relaxing vibes. This can be heard in the vocal and acoustic song “26.2.” The full band enters at just about the halfway mark. Two more songs that are easy to listen to are “All Joking Aside” and “Tofutti,” with the latter track being the first single from the group off of this record. Back To The Ache has everything including upbeat energy, raw vocals and acoustic guitar, and a calming backdrop. The Heligoats have produced exactly what their fans wanted, another album from an original band that focuses on a simple yet brilliant delivery.

In A Word: Authentic

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