Review Revue: Helmet - Meantime

hemet_betty1.jpg

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.”

“Danke!”

[Doodle of a grinning person with a bow tie] <---- "That says it all for me!"

"Yah!"

"Yawn!"

"Yep!"

"Our two experts on the genre."

"Yipe!"

"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:

hemet_betty2.jpg

“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.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted January 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I like how the person put their sticker right over the name of the band. “This piece of music will now be known by my notes!”

  2. Damon Creed
    Posted January 13, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    If my memory serves, the handwriting on the sticker covering the band’s names is none other than the current KEXP music director, Don Yates.

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