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The Helio Sequence brings energetic performance to metro area



The Helio Sequence will play along with Crocodile and Dance, Robots Dance! at Opolis in Norman.

The Oregon band evolved after two events put The Helio Sequence's future into a kind of limbo.

First, drummer Benjamin Wiekel sat in on recording sessions with acclaimed rockers Modest Mouse, laying down rhythm parts on 2004's chart-topping "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" and joining the group as it toured to support the album.

Second, shortly after reuniting with his Helio bandmate to tour and perform songs from their 2004 record, "Love and Distance," Helio vocalist and longtime friend Brandon Summers tore his vocal chords. Summers was forced to stay silent, and the injury prompted a long band break after the tour ended.

But even as Wiekel played sold-out shows with Modest Mouse, returning to perform with his friend in the two-man band The Helio Sequence was never a question.

"My plan was never to stick with (Modest Mouse)," Wiekel said. "It was certainly tempting, that's for sure. On one hand, you can be in this huge band with all this success; on the other hand, your best friend that you've been making music with since you were a kid. Well, it ended up not being a hard choice."

The pair has been tinkering with instruments since becoming pals when Summers was still in middle school in Beaverton, Ore. The two traded CDs from Portland-area bands and stayed up late watching television shows like MTV's alt-rock showcase "120 Minutes" and, Wiekel's favorite, a smaller music-video broadcast called "Bohemia Afterdark."

The recently released "Keep Your Eyes Ahead" marks The Helio Sequence's return to form. The album retains the band's country twang, distant harmonica, digital melodies and signature high-energy drumming present throughout previous discs, and filters it all into slim pop songs, giving the duo a sonic balance many acts never find. "Danny Marroquin 

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