Helmet

Size Matters (Interscope Records)

Earlier this year, Interscope exec Jimmy Iovine suggested that Page Hamilton assemble a band to wring a few dollars out of the retired Helmet name. Hamilton obliged, enlisting Orange 9mm's Chris Traynor to take on guitar and bass duties and White Zombie skinsman John Tempesta to sit behind the kit. On the resulting Size Matters, Hamilton's songwriting is more melodic and alt-rock-radio-friendly than ever. The first single, "See You Dead," starts off as a percussive death march before transforming into a rather insipid sing-along. And "Smart," one of the album's most visceral songs, gives way to a blandly melodic chorus. In fact, most of the record's eleven tracks are victims of the grunted-verse/crooned-chorus formula that sounded fresh on 1992's brilliant "Unsung" but sounds mechanical and trite today. While glimpses of the original band's energy occasionally shine through, Size Matters retains little of the unpredictable edge that once made Helmet so exciting.

 
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