First thing … holy ____, one of my all-time favorite bands just released a new album October 28! Second, I get to see them today, November 29 at the Crescent Ballroom! Helmet was a unique band, hardcore as hell so metal was part of the formula but they never 100% stayed within that genre. There were no guitar solos, no posing, just an intense, adrenaline filled rush of music that barraged the senses. The first time I heard their music was on MTV’s “120 Minutes” when the “Unsung” video from their second full-length 1992 album Meantime was played. I was blown away by how intense the song was, fairly simple on the surface in terms of structure but so full of mesmerizing power. It was not punk rock but possessed the elements of that genre, it was not metal but those elements were there and it sure as heck was not pop music but there were an insane amount of hooks in the track. I went out and found the disc the next day and quickly discovered that song was just the tip of the iceberg. No way should four guys be able to infuse that much maniacal, yet carefully controlled power into an album. I was utterly impressed and it was not long before both their 1990 debut album Strap it On and their 1989 EP Born Annoying were in my hands as well.
I have seen Helmet four times over the years with the 1994 Club Rio show my favorite. They ended the show with the first four songs from Meantime. If you are even a casual fan of the band and have heard the opening to that album you will understand how truly special that was. Helmet was also part of a ridiculous show at Mesa Amphitheatre with Sausage (early Primus) opening and the Rollins Band headlining. That was an amazing show, too bad some crazy wind and storms cut each band’s set a little short. I also saw Helmet open for Korn, also as Mesa Amphitheatre. Needless to say I left two songs into Korn’s set, I had already witnessed my main event at that point.
The one constant in Helmet has been lead singer/guitarist Page Hamilton, a true musical genius. This guy not only creates music this intense but was trained in jazz guitar, so you know he can flat-out play. The latest album from the band is entitled Dead To The World. I’m glad they’re not. Here is my dream set list which of course includes “Just Another Victim” with House of Pain from the Judgement Night soundtrack. Sorry guys, I focused on the first EP and first four albums even though they have now released a total of eight. I will admit to losing track of the band once they broke up in 1998 before reforming in 2004. Oh yeah, I copied their last four songs from the Club Rio show. 🙂
Stoked for the show, hopefully I will run into some of you. Cheers!