Twisted Helices is the project of Ram Samudrala. He sent along a tape of 13 songs, plus a few alternate versions. He mainly concentrates on guitar, with some keyboards thrown in, all of it heavy on the effects. His voice is often distorted to the point of unrecognizability. The material is heavily produced pop/rock songs, semi-"prog", and sometimes kind of techno-sounding. I'd describe it as not-quite-partially-successful. While I think Ram's got some very good ideas here, and a real grasp of songwriting and what he wants to do with it, it often seems that he hasn't put a lot of thought into what actually SOUNDS good. I like to think of music in the abstract, and pretend that a good piece of music will sound good no matter what the production values, but it's simply not true. There are a lot of "seams" showing in the recording here, something made all the more glaring since he is apparently aiming for a sort of progressive rock sound. Not so much noise, but points where things are obviously clumsy. Another piece of advice I'd give Ram is to stick to his lower registers when singing. Like it or not, his voice wasn't made to go very high. Other than that, I think this is a pretty good tape. I look forward to hearing more of Twisted Helices in the future, if Ram will still send me a tape after this review.
Ram has a very good home page, and some interesting ideas; I'd recommend checking him out.