Helicopter Helicopter starts off Wild Dogs With X-Ray Eyes with “Helicopter Fight Song.” Doing so makes it clear that aren’t venturing far from the slickly produced power pop style they refined on their previous effort, By Starlight. What may shock some listeners familiar with the band’s first few records is the apparent positivity of the track. It’s hard to imagine that the band who penned the lines “I can’t stand to see blue babies/Gangrene crawling up their sides” could turn around and write “How can you say that none of this is really worth it?/When we’ve already won.” They did. Don’t panic. There is still plenty of talk of ghosts, lasers, hatchets, devils and stoning your friends on the rest of the album.
Helicopter Helicopter bring back a bit of grit to the proceedings this time around. Where the songs By Starlight had been polished to gem-like perfection, Wild Dogs With X-Ray Eyes incorporates a touch more of the rawness found in their early work. No one is going to confuse any songs on this record with “Gay Porno” or “Please Please Tito.” That’s not what this record is about. It’s about achieving balance. Dark and memorable. Hooks with teeth. “Harsh Light” and “The Devil” are among the group’s best work. The acoustic “Pine Trees On Fire” draws in the listener with its starkness. “Talk The Flyer Down” and “1234” are power pop gold.
Wild Dogs With X-Ray Eyes would be Helicopter Helicopter’s last album. The band left behind an impressive body of work.
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