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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

November 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM

New York’s Helmet chugs along | Concert preview

Helmet

Helmet — with bandleader Page Hamilton, second from left — performs live at The Crocodile Friday. Photo by Tom Hoppa.

Though often remembered as 1990s staples, Helmet never really went away.

The NYC heavies play The Crocodile Friday.

The focus of a big-label bidding war, the band’s 1993 debut “Meantime” boasted some of the most in-your-face guitar work this side of Rage Against the Machine or Seattle’s TAD, but also fist-pumping choruses to balance out the intensity. Frontman Page Hamilton’s jazz training came through in the songs’ atypical constructs and mathematical drop-D workouts.

“Meantime” might’ve been too aggro for the mainstream, but eventually went gold and is rightfully hailed as an alternative metal classic, inspiring groups like Deftones, Korn and Tool.

Even as Hamilton’s bandmates have come and gone — notably drummer John Stanier, now of math rock’s Battles — the singer-guitarist has stuck to his guns, continuing to release new material.

Most recently, 2010’s “Seeing Eye Dog” reinforced his trademark searing, streetwise riffs with colorful multi-tracked harmonies (“Welcome to Algiers”; listen), post-rock sound collages (“Morphing”; listen) and even a Beatles cover (“And Your Bird Can Sing”; listen).

Considering Helmet never seems to wait longer than four years between albums, showgoers can expect new songs alongside catalog highlights like “Unsung” (listen) and “In the Meantime” (listen).

Protective headgear isn’t required, but hearing loss may occur — so wear earplugs.

Local orchestral popsters By Sunlight (listen), and punk shoegazers FF (listen) open.

Helmet, By Sunlight, FF
8 p.m. Friday at The Crocodile, 2200 2nd Ave., Seattle; $20 (206-441-4618 or thecrocodile.com)

0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: alternative, Metal, New York

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