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Helmet – Size Matters
By Zane Ewton

Helmet – Size Matters 
Label: Interscope
Rating

This has been the year for some highly anticipated comebacks.  New albums and tours from some artists we haven’t heard from in a while are in progress or coming soon.  One of those anticipated returns is of Helmet.  Page Hamilton is back and has enlisted the help of Chris Traynor for guitar, John Tempesta on drums and Frank Bello on bass.
 
Size Matters is the first album since Helmet disbanded in 1999 and is the first album since 1997.  Helmet was influential for many rock bands in the late 90s to today.  In every music publication, “inspired by Helmet” was tagged to bands like Korn and the Deftones.  But with the waning interest in the rap/rock, which relied heavily on Helmet’s dynamics, will the band still matter?
 
The case is pleaded with Size Matters, 11 tracks of bone-crushing strength.  While not as innovative as they were in 1992, they still have a tight, aggressive sound that outshines the copycats.  The band is in danger of being lumped into the nu-metal category, but Hamilton’s songwriting and the band’s musicality should help them to stand out.
 
One problem with an album that is so consistent throughout is that some of the tracks blend together.  Hamilton may have played it safe with his songwriting, as he tends to stick to the blueprints.  The songs are built on a riff and never stray from that path.  The tempos are never too fast or too slow, leaving the emphasis on the groove and the heavy guitars.
 
Hamilton’s lyrics are better than the band’s he inspired, and can be interpreted in different ways.  He may be the only non-country and western singer to use the word “Darlin’” in a song.  Hamilton varies his vocals from a growl to a swagger, and the band backs him up with a tight, no-frills sound.

This album is so strong and consistent that nothing about it is really disappointing; unfortunately it isn’t the major blockbuster that fans were hoping to find.  Size Matters is enjoyable on the first listen and only gets better with each spin.  Size Matters is a welcome return by a good rock band.
 


CD Info and Links


Tracks:
Smart
Crashing Foreign Cars
See You Dead
Drug Lord
Enemies
Unwound
Everybody Loves You
Surgery
Speak And Spell
Throwing Punches
Last Breath
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

 


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