We’ve been doing a lot of vinyl lately here on Review Revue, so I thought we could go back into the land of CDs with Meantime, the second release from Page Hamilton’s notoriously heavy Helmet, and their first for the then-new major label Interscope. Here we see what happens when the content inspires just as much discussion, but the surface area for opinions gets shrunk by more than 75%. Sometimes you have to stretch out:
|“To the majors unscathed – GROOVES. Mean and drivin’. This album is unforgiving and beautiful
. 1 & 4 have already been thru as singles. #3, 6, 8, 10. HEAVY”
“Yowza! Admittedly, some of these toons sound like rewrites of songs from Strap it On. Nonetheless, this is a stone-cold jammy. Heavy, tight, melodic, groovy, militant and cathartic all at the same time. Sometimes Page sings like a cross between Ozzy and Greg Lake (ELP), but I like that. Like if Sabbath had been produced by Steve Albini. Economical and yet almost overwhelmingly loud, hard and heavy. Hell, yeah!”
“1 & 10 knocked me out.”
[Doodle of a grinning person with a bow tie] <---- "That says it all for me!"
"Our two experts on the genre."
"Kathy's right about this one - well, at least the sound, which is awesome. The pedestrian vocals don't come close to matching it, however. Anyway, glad it's in H, and there's even a few tunes that work just fine for day time! (3, 4, 8 and maybe 6)"
But that was not to be the last word, as we see when we look inside:
|“I wanted to like but I hear the vocals, hear Ozzy and immediately go ‘Ugh’!”
“You’re a fucking idiot.”
“For this kind of rock it doesn’t get any better — tight, tension, distortion, & HEAVY!”
“#1 & 4 get played on the End.” [Ah yes, the old “The other station plays it” card.]
“A further note: As much as I like some of this, I feel Ministry is much more musically ambitious and more deserving of H [hmmmm, maybe some day we’ll do Ministry’s Psalm 69 — now that inspired some real heated commentary] — thankfully, we don’t have to choose …”
Key word: HEAVY. Thanks to Justin for bringing this disc to my attention.