It’s more than two decades since Page Hamilton left NYC art-core guitar-noise ensemble Band of Susans to form the brutish riff generator known as Helmet, and nearly as many since Helmet themselves rode the alt-rock wave to the tune of one million copies with sophomore release Meantime.
Helmet: Seeing Eye Dog
Still heavy as fuck.
With a break-up, reunion and a clutch of records that favoured drop-tuned distortion and precision-core stoicism over musical evolution, it seemed like the most remarkable chapter of their story had long passed.
With seventh album Seeing Eye Dog, however, Hamilton (also a jazz guitarist and soundtrack composer) has allowed splashes of colour to infiltrate Helmet’s steel-grey stockade. And as they veer expertly between luscious, symphonic crushes (LA Water), radio rock (In Person), avant- garde sound swells (Morphing) or superweight grunge dredgers (White City), it’s a far better record for it.