Here’s a rarity for you, with a picture sleeve, even! “Don’t Get Mad Get Even” is one of Helix’s least-known singles. As a No Rest for the Wicked track, it has always been overshadowed by “Heavy Metal Love”. I saw the music video, which was filmed at the same time as “Heavy Metal Love”, just once. You never heard it on the radio. It’s only on one (out of print) Helix “best of” CD appropriately titled Deep Cuts. It wasn’t even on Over 60 Minutes With…, which focused on this period from Capitol Records. In short, it’s a forgotten track except among the faithful.
Written by Lisa Dalbello and Tim Thorney, “Don’t Get Mad Get Even” boasts dual strengths. First there is the guitar hook, as tasty as any on classic rock radio today. Second is the chorus, an exceptional one at that, the kind Helix are good at. Powerful, melodic, emphatic and rebellious! Add in some cool solo work and what you have is a lost Helix classic. It’s truly a gem that deserves another listen from strangers and fans alike.
Interestingly enough, in 1982 “Don’t Get Mad Get Even” was recorded by Canadian rock singer Lydia Taylor (1983’s Most Promising Female Vocalist at the Juno Awards).
The B-side, “Check Out the Love” (credited to Helix as a band) is a little more well known than the A-side. It was on both Over 60 Minutes With… and a live album recorded in Buffalo, NY. I’ve probably heard ’em play it live on one of the many times I’ve seen Helix since 1987. One way or another, this is a solid Helix banger with a dirty guitar hook. The guitars on this song are just lethal, whether soloing or sliding. Brian Vollmer’s vocals are melodic with grit. It’s just the kind of song Helix are known for. Rough n’ tough, but memorable.
The picture sleeve is an added bonus. On the front, back row, that’s Greg “Fritz” Hinz, Brian Vollmer and Mike Uzelac. In the front, the guitar duo of Paul Hackman and Brent “The Doctor” Doerner. Every kid on our street thought Doctor Doerner was the coolest. You can see why — he just that “look”.
Thanks to pal Craig Fee for locating this and many other Helix singles for me.