Even with a seven-year hiatus, a modern-rock-leaning new album, and the absence of John Stanier's signature drum style working against them, Helmet deserves better than the otherwise generic heaviness of the Winterfresh Sno-Core Tour. Though much is said about founding member and principal songwriter Page Hamilton's influence on nü-metal, his real impact has been way more far-reaching -- remember that when Helmet first appeared, the band didn't fall neatly into metal or hardcore and that acts as distinctive as Primus, Tool, Failure, Barkmarket, Prong, and Skeleton Key were contemporaries. Hamilton isn't likely to arouse technophiles who might dismiss him as too primitive, single-minded, or even gimmicky, but he's heavy music's Keith Richards -- no one on Earth plays with his phrasing, you can recognize his playing within seconds, and his riffs stick to your mind like THC-soaked gum. Here's your chance to see him backed by the always-propulsive Frank Bello, formerly of Anthrax.
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Helmet, along with Chevelle, Crossfade, Future Leaders of the World, and Strata, plays the Winterfresh Sno-Core Tour starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $22 the day of the show. Call 954-727-0950, or visit www.JoinTheRevolution.net.