joshthevegan: (Roland in Tull)


Betty came on the heels of two fantastic albums and an appearance on a high-profile movie soundtrack (The Crow), successfully putting Helmet into the major leagues. It is their most experimental album, as it blends their crunchy, start-stop post-hardcore sound with elements of jazz, blues, and funk. These seemingly conflicting influences make Betty one of their most exciting listens, and sets it amongst the best post-hardcore records of its time.

The cover art seems immediately to be at odds with the grindy power-rock contained within the album, effectively expressing the unexpected nature of the record.


As the brains behind the post-hardcore behemoth Helmet, Page Hamilton uses his background in classical and jazz playing to bring a surreptitiously funky and surprisingly sonorous atonality to the table. While his contemporaries were more blatant in their incorporation of 1970's funk to hard rock in the early 1990's (Rage Against the Machine, The End of Silence-era Rollins Band), Hamilton used varying accent patterns and unusual time signatures to liven up his crunchy, testosterone-fueled auditory attacks.

Here is a performance of Helmet's classic, "Ironhead" featuring the band's mid 2000's line up. A nice, tasty sample of Hamilton's ability to chew up his guitar's neck.

September 2014

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