Album review: “Take Me Over” by Hellso

Students show their passions through many forms at Washington State University Vancouver. Everyday on campus hard working students pursue their dreams and degrees. Many students choose to partake in extracurricular activities and on campus jobs that the university offers. These activities and jobs can lead to creative outlets for students’ interests.

Two creative souls came together through the campus media organizations Salmon Creek Journal and The VanCougar and discovered a shared love of music. Kerry Jeffrey and Michael Williams recently produced an EP that is catchy and will have listeners jamming out to a varied mix of genres and moods.

Jeffrey was the former editor in chief of Salmon Creek Journal, and Williams was the former managing editor of The VanCougar. The two first met back in 2014. After working together professionally, the two discovered they shared a similar interest in alternative rock music.

Both had experience as musicians and as band members. Williams had a passion for singing and guitar playing, while Jeffrey knew how play bass, as well as sing. Out of this shared passion for music came the band Hellso and its first EP, “Take Me Over.”

Many of the group’s first days of collaboration occurred via email as they sent each other musical riffs with which to experiment. In the summer of 2016, Jeffrey and Williams got together to record at a studio with a guest drummer.

The album was a “cumulative effort of about three months of intensive songwriting,” said Williams, and features sounds that are both grungy and unique.

In the brutal summer heat of Aug. 2016, the group recorded in a Portland studio with David Lindell, the EP’s producer. With just Jeffrey and Williams as the sole band members at the time, they were somewhat limited with instrumentation. Luckily, a friend from Bend came up to Portland to record drums for them.

Jeffrey and Williams drew inspiration from bands like the Pixies and Modest Mouse, and their EP has sounds that range from punk pop and indie to classic grunge. The instrumentation and lyrics produced by the two are perfect for the nights when you need to blast quality tunes, rock out and dance, or just get lost in thought.

The album has a total of five tracks. “Diana,” the first track, is a good introduction to the art that these two produced. “Diana” is a story that can be interpreted as telling the tale of a relationship and memories shared between a couple. The chorus asserts, “Oh, Diana you could be the one.” You can feel the emotion that went into this song with the upbeat tempos and drum break.

The songs after that are titled: “Take Me Over,” “Got Real,” “Wild” and “Better Anything.”

Each song is unique and gives off its own idea and vibe. At times when listening, one gets an indie vibe and there are times when you want to just head bang to the music.

There is variety and depth between each track that makes for a solid album. “Take Me Over” appeals to a lot of different crowds, and it can be difficult to do that in music because of listeners’ personal preferences and tastes.

The album is free to listen to and can be found on Hellso’s Bandcamp page at https://hellsovnc.bandcamp.com/album/. With their first EP under their belts, Jeffrey and Williams are looking to expand Hellso’s horizons.

Williams and Jeffrey have big plans for the summer of 2017. With five more tracks already planned, the two are aiming to release a full-length album within the year. In a few months, the band plans to play live and do some touring as well.

The band is currently looking for a drummer and bassist. Musicians experienced with either instrument can contact Jeffrey at KLJeffrey86@gmail.com.

Hellso has a unique story, and an even more diverse repertoire of music. Take a listen, fall in love and get lost in the greatness that is “Take Me Over.”

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