Traversing A Twisted Path review in Banned Thoughts, May 1996

It was almost like a musical evolution for Ram Samudrala, the guy behind Twisted Helices and this debut CD. There's 22 songs, all varying in length and emotion, however most of the tracks are short and to the point. Described as music that is weird, twisted, experimental, noisy, and essentially, the "bastard child of Ween and the Residents", it has everything in it, "from ABBA to Zappa". Being somewhat of a concept album, we are lead through a series of songs that appear to be telling a story, a twisted story. "I have a link between each song and each amino acid (the building blocks of proteins)," describes Ram. "However, the link is somewhat fabricated. The best way to think about this album, as the album title indicates, is to think of it as 'growing up', experimentally speaking. I set about wanting to create a twisted record, and as I recorded I learnt (for myself) what makes something twisted and good and what makes somethinf twisted and bad." In summary, this twisted compilation is a mesh of figurative lyrics with a true DIY sound and a distinguished vocal style. Appearing like religious chants for the most part, these songs are anything but - in fact, they often question the establishment in a somewhat sarcastic way. Songs like "The Rap of the Morons", "I Saw Kobain in a 7-11", and "I, the State, and the People" illustrate where he is coming from, the latter appearing twice on the CD, once as a "state" version (with vocals) and once as a "people" version (a VOICELESS instrumental). Clever and symbolic indeed. From the guy who thanks the 20 amino acids in his liner notes, I'd expect nothing less. As an added bonus, if for nothing else, get this for the funky CD cover - which is the most creative piece of work I've ever seen!

TWISTED HELICES || Ram Samudrala ||