Always Wear Your Helmet

Part of us wants to be pissed off at the archetypal New York metal band Helmet. Since the group debuted in 1989, its now infamous post-hardcore sound has been duplicated ad nauseum by far lesser bands. You could even argue that the entire despicable genre of nü-metal – with its snappy jazz beats and crunchy, power-chord laden guitars – could be traced back to Helmet’s definitive 1992 album Meantime. Of course, before you set to punishing the band for its trailblazing ways, you’d have to actually give Meantime a listen. And you’d forgive them instantly; mainly because it would rock your ass off, son.

Of course, that disc is now 15 years old, and Helmet has since released two albums, broken up, reformed, shuffled the lineup again, and released two more albums. These days the band is touring off its sixth studio album, Monochrome. And the fact that vocalist/guitarist Page Hamilton is the only remaining original member doesn’t detract from the album’s sound: The beats remain tight, the guitars are still thick, and Hamilton’s vocals still have that airy-megaphone thing going on. So if you’re ready to strap it on again, catch Helmet when they visit the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost a shockingly-low $15. Call 954-564-1074, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Sun., Nov. 4, 2007

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John Linn