You know, we were supposed to have the night off on Saturday. But we experienced a band so superb, we really can’t keep this secret to ourselves.

Helen Kelter Skelter is everything that’s cool about rock and roll. The band calls Norman, Oklahoma, home (a region that continues to produce impressive bands) but stopped by the Replay over the weekend.

This is an act with a timeless rock sound, the kind of classic (but hardly simple) rock that anyone can get into. Their psych-based ballads are a bit on the long side, and thank goodness for that because every second of it is precious. With an intimidating amount of pedals scattered about the floor, the guitarists produced solos that bend and beckon you to soak it all up. We were also fond of the drummer’s preciseness and the synths that translated the songs into a richer and fuller sound.

Those vocals were a doozy, saturated in reverb and completely flawless. We noticed that with a few songs, the singer whistled for just a short moment. Just once, that’s all. It’s a tease really, a unique trademark that felt like a little peck on the cheek welcoming you to the affair.

And what an affair to remember! Every song felt like a precise work of art. This is a band that would play quite well with Lawrence’s own Psychic Heat (hopefully that’s the route they’ll take the next time they’re here).

Here’s what they sounded like on Saturday:

Words and photos by Fally Afani



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Leave a Reply