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Meantime

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Album Review

In 1991, Interscope won a ferocious multi-label bidding war (which according to firsthand accounts, pitted an estimated 18 to 22 different labels against each other) and signed Helmet for a reported cool one-million-plus dollars. Under the watchful eye of the record biz, and on the heels of Nirvana's huge commercial breakthrough, Helmet were curiously touted as the next big thing. Unsurprisingly, expectations would never be fully realized. Arguably one of the most influential and overlooked rock records of the '90s, Meantime threw the rule book out the window. Led by the classically trained Page Hamilton, Helmet's bludgeoning riffs combined with their stop-go-stop-go minimalist attack changed the face of aggro-rock. Its importance cannot be overstated. From the Steve Albini-produced title track through "Role Model," the band is relentless. On "Give It," Hamilton spews "killing hurts/has to be done/peace and love/who's number one," and later "the right to give/learn to bleed/it's free/pain is outside/lift it up to see." As the hypnotic riff and John Stanier's piccolo snare echo throughout, the band thrashes through the song like a ten-ton hammer. Again, every song is colored by Teutonic riffs, with only "Unsung" hinting at a gasp of commercial accessibility.

Customer Reviews

Helmet Strikes Again...

This is music... This is emotion driven, powerful, grunge rock. Helmet have struck once again with another awesome album. Again, they don't disapoint. The album begins that way too...a deep, grunge guitar kicks off Helmets best album yet. In style. Every song on this album is emotion driven. The album is one that is only best on repeat. Track after track, Helmet screams on, and on, and on... They are relentless. Page Hamilton (lead vocalist) is superb in this album, his best yet. However, he is just the icing on the cake. The guitarists are superb, and the drummer is just sweet. From "In The Meantime" to "Role Model", the album never stops. As time goes on, Helmet fails to skip a note, to make a mistake, to sing off beat. The album is a flawless work of art. Nothing compares to this album. This is Helmet at their best, and there is no one who could have seen this comming.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like many influential bands, Helmet were born out of an unusual set of influences. Oregon-born guitarist and founder Page Hamilton had actually moved to New York City to study jazz, but found inspiration in the late '80s through post-punk acts Sonic Youth, Killing Joke, and Big Black, and envisioned a group that combined then-unusual tunings (particularly dropped D) with uneven and jazz-like time signatures and harmonies. The result was Helmet, the East Coast's answer to Seattle's then-underground...
Full Bio