THE HELIO SEQUENCE eat, drink, and sleep music (and do not own televisions). Sixties pop; Kranky spacey stuff; '70s punk; Northwest music, à la Pond and Nirvana; shoegazer, à la Ride and My Bloody Valentine. The music they grew up on.

Their debut album, Com Plex, just released on Portland's Cavity Search label, even references their own music. While other bands pen songs about sexcapades and cool urban life, The Helio Sequence write songs about writing a record. "In 'Demographics,' the middle part is about us as a band. Why we do what we do," explains singer/guitarist Brandon Summers. "'Big Jet Sky' is about people thinking we couldn't pull some of the album off."

"Sassafrass," with lines like "I saw a Maybelline sex queen/ tech sheen/ hitting on the music scene," is a sharp indictment of scene vultures looking to prey on young bands. Speaking of vultures, drummer Benjamin Weikel noted, "We played a show at the Ohm and some guy was saying 'You guys are the big A&R buzz down in LA. That stuff kind of freaks me out. It's too much to think about right now."

Thankfully, the boys have repelled most of the bloodsuckers and found positive support in Portland. "We're being pushed along by all the things that not only we create, but that everyone creates around us. People are open enough to support you and believe in what you do," says Summers.

One trip to The Helio Sequence studio, and Cavity Search heads Chris Cooper and Denny Swofford gave them free reign during the creation of Com Plex. "They came over to listen to some tracks. We played them what we had and they were like 'Yes, OK fellas, uh, just keep doing what you're doing,'" laughs Weikel. "Some songs have 75 tracks on them," adds Summers.

Com Plex is a fluid rush of sound, teasing with subtle keyboard squiggles, then erupting into soaring vistas of melody-drenched wonder. There are three distinct peaks to the album that culminate in the gorgeously crafted "Demographics." In "Big Jet Sky," the intro begins with the aforementioned keyboard teasing, then bursts wide.

Summers and Weikel are pleased with their efforts, chalking it up to endless hours of studio tinkering. The end result, it seems, will justify the means. "We just found out that we're the number two add in the most recent CMJ chart," says Benjamin. "That's just amazing for a totally unknown band."