The Helium Tapes rock the blue goose down. The songs are like mysterious space flowers of melody, and everyone is going to want that sound in their internal jam monologue. The Helium Tapes are an electron storm of mysterious rock power. Everyone thinks it is the best thing since the magic king, because it is, and the record is so badass that it got me to stop listening to Roky Erickson for four days in a row. -Bryan The CD is happily on heavy rotation. It spews it's own nag champa, it's own spicy chai, it's own cold Stag. What more could a human being want? -Paul The Helium Tapes have a flair for dark-tinted power pop and dense, swirling riffs, tidy melodic hooks that transmogrify into flowering, far-out explorations. -The Riverfront Times The Helium Tapes sound like a magic carpet ride. A mango lassi. A beautiful lover scorned. A beautiful lover beckoning. The Helium Tapes songs come to them in sweltering summers adorned with flickering street lamps, lulling buzz of crickets. Icy winters spent in freezing rooms with nothing but a composition notebook. The Helium Tapes, The Helium Tapes: The twin powers of Sunyatta Marshall's beguiling voice and Tim Lohmann's serpentine guitar-playing collide in a psychedelic daydream on the Helium Tapes' self-titled debut. The seeds of power-pop are sown deep within these songs, but the group pulls riffs like taffy - and then melts, separates and realigns them within the confines of these pop songs. -The Riverfront Times, Top-10 Releases of 2008 The Helium Tapes isn't wasting any time. The band released it's self-titled debut last fall and now, a mere fourteen months later, the excellent Ghost Wave capitalizes on that album's hallmarks - minor-key psych-pop, fuzz-bombed guitar leads and sweet-and-sour female vocals - while tightening and refining it's approach. Singer and guitarist Sunyatta Marshall throws down the gauntlet every chance she gets - and although her vocals on the previous record were always sufficient but often indistinct, there's no missing her here. On the opening track 'Falling Behind,' Marshall rises above the rumbling drums, loping bass line and snaking guitar notes. There's never a lot of menace in her voice, but when coupled with the ominous instrumentation, it sound like she's staring daggers at you through the speakers. It's a spooky, beguiling introduction to an album that uses power-pop smarts to ensnare listeners with songs about burgeoning desires, potent kiss-offs and soaring reveries. While Marshall is the Helium Tapes' focal point, her bandmates do a crucial job of setting the tone and mood. Guitarist Tim Lohmann is Marshall's aural sparring partner, and while his swirling, serpentine riffs are more reined in this time around, his use of economy focuses the energy back to the song's center. Former bassist Brandon Mason has moved to keyboards, and the band is so much the better for the '70s and '80s textures he provides. The vibrato-heavy combo organ gives a garage-rock streak to 'Oh! My Heart' and Eno-esque string pads fill out the echoing dub-pop of 'Bleeding Hearts Run Dry.' New bassist Jarrod Burkemper earns his keep by providing a buoyant, melodic counterpoint (especially on the fervent 'Airplane to Your Room'), although every so often he and drummer Joe Stulce drift apart and dissipate the mechanical precision that propels many of these songs. Ghost Wave is the sound of a band that is simultaneously hitting it's stride while still developing it's sound - and if we're lucky, the Helium Tapes will keep up this writing-and-recording pace. -The Riverfront Times 11-09.