Boston bands and girl-boy sass go together like peas and carrots, from the fuzzy howls of Pixies pair Kim Deal and Black Francis to Letters to Cleo's tart power pop or Damone's bubblegum metal. Such is the indie-rock legacy perpetuated by Helicopter Helicopter, a quartet poised to break out of the New England scene that's nurtured the band since its 1998 formation and throughout three previous full-lengths.
Wild Dogs With X-Ray Eyes, their Initial Records debut and fourth studio album overall, sounds like a Beantown version of the New Pornographers. Grungy rock chords with the lightness of power pop and whip-smart hooks of the Cars abound on the greased-up "Harsh Light" and "Talented Socialites," while their flagship anthem "Helicopter Fight Song" and "Talk the Flyer Down" are melodic tunes with whiffs of synths and Weezer-worthy arena ambitions. And the yin-yang vocal timbres of Chris Zerby and Julie Chadwick ensure the band escapes sounding like just another gang of Pixies progenies. Zerby's freshly scrubbed, snot-nosed-punk-turned-choirboy tenor and Chadwick's sky-scraping, torchy countermelodies brighten the corners of Wild Dogs with pinpoint harmonies and earnest emotion, propelling the 'Copters into the stratospheric ranks of their hometown luminaries.
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