Live Video: Helmet

photo by Beth Crook (view set)

Not sure if it’s a compliment to be called a “thinking man’s metal band” (or at least, it’s not so nice to the other metal bands), but long running alternative metal band Helmet have always made smart music that never loses its punch. Vocalist/guitarist Page Hamilton founded the group back in ’89, and since then they’ve gone through the usual motions of a successful band: early attention leading to a label signing, a series of albums that grow more critically acclaimed but sell less than expected, band dissolution and breakup, subsequent solo work and collaborations, and an eventual reunion. Throughout the years, Page Hamilton has remained productive, and it didn’t take him long to reform Helmet with new members and eventually take the project to a new label. Though the band’s last album was released 2010, lately they’ve been touring with the Melvins and performing 20th anniversary shows of their influential ’92 album, Meantime. Last month, when British post-punk pioneers Wire tapped them to play a few shows in Seattle and Portland as part of the Drill: Seattle showcase, we grabbed them for this heavy, pummeling session, proving that Page, backed by his new crew, has only grown smarter over the years:

Full Performance:

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