Helen Earth Band is from San Diego and (although they aren’t quite as abrasive as some of their peers and predecessors) they do have more than a little of that city’s angular and mathy post-hardcore sound. The 13 songs on Our Own Ghost City are full of complex rhythms, interlocking guitar lines, and pleasantly melodic vocals, but (really) it’s much more than that. The band features (most notably) a former member of the band Finch, but who cares, right? Right. To say I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard Our Own Ghost City would be a major understatement. Just imagine a sort of hybrid that combines the structures and algebraic grooves of older Minus The Bear (without adding any of the metallic overtones) with the smooth and easy melodies of Jimmy Eat World and the tight rhythmic backbeat of Pinback. I don’t think I’m stretching one bit making those comparisons. The band shows a ton of potential here and despite the record’s energy, everything is measured and controlled. I’d like to hear ‘em come unhinged just a little bit but (still) Helen Earth Band has got a pretty good thing going here. (Just a side note, I think this album was actually released in late 2009, but I don’t really fucking care. I’m counting it for 2010).