Jason Albertini was in both Duster and Built to Spill. The sound of those bands has informed that of his own Helvetia, who are due to release a new EP called Sun Chasers next week.
The title cut bursts forth with a real acid rock vibe, while the more languid "She Crashed" unfurls like an early Built to Spill track mixed with an early Dinosaur Jr. one. If that comparison suggests that Helvetia are in favor of loose, guitar-based slack anthems, then so be it. This is, after all, very good stuff, the musicians cultivating the same sort of feeling that one found on so many American indie records in the Nineties. "Cross Bone Pile" works up a sort of precise post-rock rhythm that recalls both Jawbox and Polvo a tiny bit, while EP closer "Yes Yes" channels early Grandaddy with a dash of mid-period Pavement in the service of a really excellent down-tempo number.
Sun Chasers by Helvetia is sure to please other fans of Built to Spill and not just 'cause Jason Albertini is in the current line-up of the band. Helvetia offer up a similar blend of slacker rock (for lack of a better term) and inventive indie-pop that favorably stands next to the work of all those bands I name-checked above.
More details on Helvetia via the band's official website, or on the band's official Facebook page. Sun Chasers will be out next week and you can get more details via the Joyful Noise label, or on the band's Bandcamp page.
[Photo: Uncredited photo from the band's Facebook page]