Can university educated musicians Rock? While it might seem unlikely, Helmet proves that, on occasion, the answer is 'yes.' Helmet formed in '89 led by guitarist Page Hamilton. The New York based quartet also had Henry Bogdan (bass), John Stamier (drums) and Peter Mengede (guitar), who was replaced in '94 by Rob Echeverria. Helmet's roaring fury resonated with audiences and soon the group was tagged the "next big thing," "the next Nirvana" and more.
That didn't happen. And even though, Helmet began recording the year they were founded (the EP "Born Annoying") the group didn't hit its stride until '92 which saw the release of "Meantime" (with "In The Meantime" and "Turned Out"). The album features start/stop rhythms and shouted lyrics. "Betty" roared out '94. Three years later, Helmet returned with "Aftertaste." Absent was the churn and burn and in its place a more fluid sound.
Helmet broke up in '98, but reformed in '04 and released three albums in six years: "Size Matters" ('04), "Monochrome" ('06), "Seeing Eye Dog" ('10). But it took another six years before the arrival of their eighth album, "Dead To The World" ('16).
1990 Strap It On
2004 Size Matters
2010 Seeing Eye Dog
2016 Dead To The World
Ominous, violent and packed with power chords "Meantime" is Helmet's major achievement. "Aftertaste" represents a sonic change but they still Rock hard on "Pure," "Driving Nowhere," "It's Easy To Get Bored" and other tracks. The '90 release "Strap It On" and "Betty" are good but not great albums. Of the two "Betty" is the better and closest in power to "Meantime."