Music lives, breathes, and grows over time. It changes and evolves like any other species in the wilderness. The Acid Helps filter fragments of alternative, grunge, heavy metal, and desert rock through a distinctly personal lens with focus racked towards the future. After receiving the endorsement of everyone from Revolver to Tool who invited them on a 2022 tour, the Los Angeles duo—Tim Dawson [vocals, guitar] and Ryan “Junior” Kittlitz [drums]—shock their searing signature style to life on a series of singles and their forthcoming independent debut EP.
“Music is a collective art form,” observes Tim. “Nothing happens in a bubble. Every band stands on the shoulders of the artists who came before. We’re students of the art. There are layers to The Acid Helps. It’s rooted in recognizable elements, but we’re trying new things. We want to create rock ‘n’ roll that’s traditional and challenging all at once.”
Born in Alberta, Canada obsessed with music, Tim eventually made his way to Los Angeles. In between working as a tech for icons such as Alice In Chains, he performed in critically acclaimed bands, including The Birth Defects and Legend of The Seagullmen with filmmaker Jimmy Hayward [Jonah Hex, Horton Hears A Who], Brent Hinds of Mastodon, and Danny Carey of Tool, among others. Along the way, he linked up with Junior whose own pedigree spans All Hail The Yeti, Compromise, and SNFU. Inspired by a shared love of everything from Black Sabbath to Soundgarden, they cemented an unbreakable creative bond by spending countless hours jamming, writing, and recording as they shaped an inimitable sound together.
“In many ways, Junior was really the glue that made this happen,” Tim goes on. “He complements my playing from a different angle. We’re both equally excited and committed to this though. We push each other right when we need it.”
In 2021, The Acid Helps formally introduced themselves with “This Thing Will Not Die.” Produced by Tim, it threaded together an off-kilter “video game riff” with a steamrolling bass-laden groove punctuated by the frontman’s menacingly melodic high-register refrain. On its heels, the single “Sink Pisser” drained gritty vocal delivery through gritty guitars and a propulsive beat. Meeting the track with acclaim, Revolver hailed, “‘Sink Pisser’ is reminiscent of older Queens of the Stone Age, but with a faster, more urgent flair.”
However, it just hinted at a much more intricate vision for the band.
“There is a story throughout the whole record,” Tim reveals. “There’s a lot to uncover, and it keeps evolving as well.”
Even as the sound progresses and morphs, the feeling The Acid Helps elicits will always be gleefully familiar in the end.
“We hope everyone has the same response to this we did when we first got into rock ‘n’ roll,” Tim leaves off. “This style of music will always be there. Even if it’s the end of the world, people aren’t going to stop going to shows and listening to music. I’d love to pass on the inspiration to some kid out there, so we can all hear more.”