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Born Annoying

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Album Review

Comprised of B-sides culled from Helmet's various singles, Born Annoying suffers from the usual complaints that dog such compilations: there's a reason why the songs were only B-sides. Tracks like "Geisha to Go" and the 1993 recording of the title track stand up well against Helmet's albums, but the earlier version of "Born Annoying" and "Rumble" sound a little too generic to be considered essential. The band's cover of Killing Joke's "Primitive" is also good but bland, summing up the general feel to the whole album; the songs are okay but they lack the unique feel of the band's best material. It's really only for the completist.

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...
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