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Helmet - Betty (Cover Artwork)

Helmet

Helmet: BettyBetty (1994)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: mattp330mattp330
(others by this writer | submit your own)

On Punknews, we always talk about the influences. How bands such as Operation Ivy, the Ramones, the Clash, Black Flag, so forth and so on have affected all the bands we listen to. You can also find many influences from the late eighties / early ninties such as Faith No More, Deftones, and Helmet. .
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On Punknews, we always talk about the influences. How bands such as Operation Ivy, the Ramones, the Clash, Black Flag, so forth and so on have affected all the bands we listen to. You can also find many influences from the late eighties / early ninties such as Faith No More, Deftones, and Helmet.

Helmet was a little bit of a different breed. Based out of New York, the quartet, led by singer/guitarist Page Hamilton, fused metal, hardcore, and art rock together. Early in their carrer the band released Strap it On and Meantime to critcal praise, but not much commercial succes. As 1994 arrived, the band had the song "Milquetoast" appear on "The Crow" soundtrack along other hardrock heavyweights. This exposure helped usher in the masterpiece Betty.

Hamilton and company start the album off right with the song "Wilma's Rainbow." Although the vocals are melodic, I wouldn't dare call them soothing. The guitars swirl until finally setting into a crunch where the band just pounds through the rest of the song.

The album is so varied, that is what makes it worthwhile. "Biscuits for Smut's" vocals sound like they are coming through a filter while the drums drive songs like "Street Crab" and surely leave Page Hamilton's voice raw. Those songs, along with the aforementioned "Milquetoast" and "Speechless," are borrowed from left and right in today's music scene.

The all-stars of this album are easily the rhythm section, made up of Henry Bogdan and John Stainer. Bogdan's bass lines hold the song together and prove his instrument is more than just show. Bogdan, on the other hand, takes every song as his cue to beat on his kit. But through all the mayhem are tight fills that are a driving force throughout the song.

There are twists and turns thoughout this whole album. "Beautiful Love" is an instrumental that sounds like a musical intepratation of a car smashing along a guard rail. "The Silver Hawaiian" is a nice change of pace with its "by the ocean" vibe, and the album closer "Sam Hell" makes a song that sounds like it was recorded on a back porch rocker.

With all the new albums coming out this fall, do yourself a favor. Go to half.com, a used record store, or just use the net. Do this and experience one of the bands that has influenced most of what we listen to.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Blood Brothers - Young MachetesDeftones - DeftonesConverge - No HeroesThe Blood Brothers - Burn Piano Island, BurnThe Mars Volta - AmputechtureJawbreaker - BivouacDeftones - White PonyDrexel - What Went WrongNada Surf - LuckyPrimus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
branden (February 4, 2008)

strap it on is their best.

Anonymous (April 6, 2006)

anyone that judges somone for what they listen to is the moron...

besides Helmet is good.

Anonymous (October 7, 2005)

yes you are an asshole because you like helmet...did you understand now, moron?

soulbleed (October 6, 2005)

milquetoast is the best helmet song ever.

SilentStorms (October 6, 2005)

So I like Helmet ... therefore I am a pretentious asshole? Your a fucking idiot.

Anonymous (October 6, 2005)

helmet sucks...music for pretentious assholes

Anonymous (October 4, 2005)

anyone like battles?

Anonymous (October 4, 2005)

overrated!

Anonymous (October 4, 2005)

helmet is my favorite band of all time. this album is different but the HOOKS on this album are monsterous. so many bands now use the drop-d, the noise solos, and the start / stop that page should get royalities each time the bastards use it. but alas... they suck live now. unless stanier is back behind the kit, its not the same.

killer cuts off Betty include... Pariah (on the double 10"), Rollo and of course milktoast and wilma's rainbow.

mattp330 (October 4, 2005)

i guess i didn't mean "showy" to disrespect the instrument. i just meant that not alot of bass players do anything special anymore and that helmets songs were really bass heavy and that henry bogdan had talent

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

Hey guys, wouldn't it be really cool if Page Hamilton just came by and show us some riffs?

heartfailure (October 3, 2005)

Bass isn't "showy" but gradually bass is becoming a dead instrument due to how most bands nowadays must pick up homeless guys and tell them to hit certain strings in time with the guitarist.

If I hear one more one-fret chugging bassline from some variation of Taking Back Sunday I might go buy toilet paper

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

"Bogdan's bass lines hold the song together and prove his instrument is more than just show."

where are you coming from with this?

more than just show? please explain.

i've played bass for almost 6 years now, and I've never considered bass "showy."

notfeelingcreative (October 3, 2005)

I loved "meantime" but was never a huge fan of this record.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

True that, everyone owes Helmet some recognition. But man, Deftones owned everything that was between punk, hardcore, and metal from '95 - '00.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

Last year's album was pretty good, but they're much better live.

OverDefined (October 3, 2005)

rockin

SilentStorms (October 3, 2005)

I used to like this album. But 'Aftertaste' was waaaaaaaaaaay better than this. That's not a stab at this cd, it's just that Aftertaste was the shizznat.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

Where the fuck is my QOTSA review? I submitted that shit over 3 months ago, and it was a damn good review I must say.
(Damn I'm cocky today?)

-Not-To-Regret

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

this band is and has been overrated...they┬┤re boring

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

i liked helmet up until page hamilton went dudley moore on all of us and lost his mind.

so after this record.

wyzo

Anchors (October 2, 2005)

I'm glad superdude's back, I don't think he's trying to put Lewis Black out of a job, but amusing nonetheless. Now, only if insinceredave would come back.

Also, anybody else notice 'Blak' Flag?

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

I love everyone of their records (except for their recent piece of shit, of course).

mattp330 (October 2, 2005)

shes obviously not on a picnic, shes picking flowers. if you are going to be sarcastically funny, get it right

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

Deftones are great. Youre a dick if you think otherwise

Jesse (October 2, 2005)

Hurrah for the return of Superdude!

stevejonestherealbones (October 2, 2005)

i'ld stick something in her

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

This is one of my favorite albums of all time. It's nice to see people recognizing what a huge influence Helmet is on the modern scene - I've been hearing them in all sorts of lesser bands for years. Sadly, I think a lot of the shite on the radio these days is influenced by them, but without the hardcore sensibilities. Pretty much anyone playing in dropped-D tuning probably owes something to Helmet. One of my favorite bands ever.

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

i have meantime, but honestly i don't think it's more than "pretty good". though i've been told i'd love them if i heard strap it on.

chrisn519 (October 2, 2005)

this is a great, widely overlook cd. everyone has a hardon for meantime but i think betty is helmet's best.

Icapped2pac (October 2, 2005)

Wow, superdude, you're about as (intentionally) funny as a Tom Arnold movie.

superdude (October 2, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. They should re-name their band The Biographers. They could sing all their songs about other people's lives.

2. The first one could be about Dean Kane.

3. The second one could be about that girl on the cover.

4. I went on a picnic once, but not with her.

5. The reviewer could have mentioned if he ever went on a picnic.

mattp330 (October 2, 2005)

you're right, stainer is the drummer. i just got a little over zelous and put bogdan in charge of the whole rhythm section

localh (October 2, 2005)

Adrenaline is one of the best cd's ever sucka!

AlmostPunkEnough (October 2, 2005)

jesus they used to play "Milquetoast" all the time on WSOU back in the day. you know, when it was still a good station.

i like this cd a lot, but 'Meantime' is hands down better.

score is for WSOU when it was still good.

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

Bogdan, on the other hand, takes every song as his cue to beat on his kit. But through all the mayhem are tight fills that are a driving force throughout the song.

bogdan is/was the bass player.

stainer is/was the drummer.

lushj (October 2, 2005)

After "Meantime" this was SUCH a melodic sell-out of a disappointment. They were best at the guitar-CRUNCH- kind of a post-punk John Porcell. This? Eh.

Anonymous (October 2, 2005)

great album, so is 'Meantime'. but also check out the first record and the 'Born Annoying' 7". thats thier best stuff! you can get all the old 7"s on one CD now i think.

gladimnotemo (October 2, 2005)

Deftones appreciation is punishable by death.

Dante3000 (October 2, 2005)

Good god damn Betty is a great album. Still, I think I may like Meantime just a hair more. But, that may just be because I've heard it a hell of a lot more.
-Dante

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