– Size Matters
By Zane Ewton
– Size Matters
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.
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