Helmet
Meantime


5.0
classic

Review

by supraman_2 USER (7 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 121 replies | 17,293 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Helmet's Oregon-born guitarist and founder Page Hamilton had moved to New York City to study jazz, but found inspiration in the late '80s through post-punk acts Sonic Youth, Killing Joke, and Big Black, and envisioned a group that combined then-unusual tunings (particularly dropped-D) with uneven and jazz-like time signatures and harmonies. Hamilton recruited bassist Henry Bogdan from Oregon, along with Australian guitarist Peter Mengede and Florida drummer John Stanier for the group's first incarnation. Helmet's independent-label debut EP, Strap It On, showcased the group's raw power -- both instrumentally and in Hamilton's growling vocals -- through tracks like the mocking "Sinatra" and rocking "Bad Mood."

In The Meantime: 5/5
Basically the title track for the album. After the first ascending riff they go into a sometimes off-tempo pulsing open string riff broken up by hammer-ons and pull-offs here and there. The drumming and bass keeps things flowing nicely thumping and pounding along a good head banging rhythm. Hamilton barks like a maniac throughout the song. Overall, a high energy track great album opener.

Ironhead: 4.5/5
Helmet's style is defined by steady/off tempo (at times) pounding rhythms and Hamilton's screaming and growling. This song is a good example of it. Nice weird rhythm here, also just a little slower and less energy than the first track. Hamilton displays one of his first solos on the album which at times have a tendency to morph into a wall of sound and feedback which to fits their music. There is a great solo in there you just might have to listen more closely. A great song.

Give It: 4.5/5
Bogdan starts off with a cool bouncing bass line before slowing down into a kind of start/stop riff. This is one of the slowest songs on the album but still a great song. You'll still be bobbing your head to this one. Another one of Hamilton's wall of sound solos in here; which is pretty good. Starts to speed up at the end of the song before finishing.

Unsung: 6/5
One of my and everyone else's favorite tracks and the only song I ever remember ever hearing on the radio from Helmet. You may recognize it after hearing it. Starts of with a simple ascending bass line and drums then guitar imitating the bass line and lots of feedback from the second guitar. True start/stop alternating riffs that are supported pefectly by Stainer. I really enjoy the chorus and breakdown just grinding along. The end is basically a wall of sound although there is no real solo, just the same chord on the first four strings up and down the neck of the guitar. A classic.

Turned Out: 5/5
Starts out nicely then goes into an off-tempo riff which upon first listen may be hard to latch onto for some. Start/stop rhythms are again supported well by Stainer who sounds off-tempo himself. A cool chorus that has a soaring sound. Goes into a breakdown before letting the drums and bass take over for awhile then Hamilton goes into a solo that starts drenched in feedback but cleans up a bit at the end. Ends with the verse riff, an excellent song.

He Feels Bad: 4/5
One of the other slower songs on the cd but still not really that slow. The riff is sort of jazzy and laid back it's really the only song Hamilton tries to sing on which really isn't his forte, but not terrible like some singers I've heard. Not one of my favorite songs but not bad. The solo ends the song and has lots of feedback after he gets into it.

Better: 4.5/5
After a cool bass line the song goes into a pulsing riff and Hamilton goes back to his screaming and growling. Nice chorus and a breakdown carry the song well. Just a good rhythm makes this cool. Helmet does things differently and it just works. In the background you can slightly hear solos in multiple parts of the song.

You Borrowed: 5/5
Nice groove, another one of the more laid back tracks. Bogdan's bass kinda stands out over the guitars on this one. An interesting choice of timing on the chorus; different buts works well. The solo is great and fits the song perfectly. Hamilton knows right when to quit. An awesome song.

FBLA II: 5/5
It's called FBLA II because there was an FBLA on their first record Strap It On. Not much to say other than I enjoy this song love and the palm-muting riffing the middle. Also I love the way it pauses right before Hamilton goes into his solo, it just sounds tight. The solo is crazy but doesn't go on for too long before they get back into the song with feedback going in the background.

Role Model: 6/5
Starts with a heavy pounding riff before going into a bass only verse. Bogdan sounds great with Stainer as they mesh well together to create a solid sound. The guitars come back in the next verse mainly as background noise. I would say this is their most minimalistic guitar song. The solo here is incredible. Hamilton is very creative the way he makes his solos sound; the timing, feedback and bends are perfect in this song. The best track hands down.


Overall: 5/5
This should be an album that you should get no matter what type of rock you like. Strong musicianship make the songs work and most of the riffs get in your head. Hamiliton and Mendege are actually very technical, although at times it just sounds like they're making noise. You'll start to pick up the intricacies in their playing after listening to the songs. Hamilton is hands down the master of guitar feedback. I've had this cd for awhile still one of my favorites. You could describe it as Chevelle with more skill and creativity but not quite as radio friendly.
That's a generalization to give you somewhat of an idea of how they sound. System of a Down, Neurosis, and Godsmack are some other bands that have a similar style. One of the best and most influential bands of the 90's even though not a majority of the public has heard of them. Even though Helmet are usually blamed for starting the Nu-Metal trend they are definately not Nu-Metal. The solos and spastic bouts into noise fury added with timing other than 4/4 used in songs confirms this. Hamilton often has amusing and very sarcastic lyrics unlike his Nu-Metal followers he doesn't whine. They have many copycats who did a half assed job. Start with this album to check them out.



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user ratings (416)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
HSThomas (4.5)
Unsung....

(4.5)
Meantime will remain as a hallmark for rock music to come, and for that, it will forever remain a su...


Comments:Add a Comment 
supraman_2
November 26th 2004



146 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The bio was from allmusic.com
Comments and critiques are welcome considering this is my first review.
If you're gonna critique me be descriptive on what needs to be changed to improve it
Thanks

BuddyBigsby
November 26th 2004



531 Comments


Classic album. "Unsung" has one of the hardest riffs ever written in rock music. "Ironhead" and "In the Meantime" are my other two faves.

keep on phishin'
November 26th 2004



71 Comments


Good review

One of my favorite albums

But please never compare System of a Down to Helmet.

keep on phishin'
November 26th 2004



71 Comments


System of a Down, Pantera, and Godsmack are some other bands that have a similar sound.

These bands do not have a similar sound to Helmet.

Other than that good review and great album.

Dark Hero
November 27th 2004



160 Comments


Helmet is the band that I respect the most, good review also.

Zappa
November 27th 2004



355 Comments


This is an excellent hard rock album for releasing the testo from your testes. Rock out.

Dark Hero
November 27th 2004



160 Comments


Dance!

The JoZ
November 27th 2004



345 Comments


I love the song "Unsung"...maybe I ought check this out, eh?

supraman_2
November 28th 2004



146 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=keep on phishin']These bands do not have a similar sound to Helmet.

Other than that good review and great album.[/QUOTE]
Maybe I should have said style, start/stop riffs, usually always have solos
Things like that

SimpleMTS
November 28th 2004



9 Comments


Yeah this is an awesome album and Helmet held it down nicely throughout their time. Thanks for reviewing them.

Tangy zizzle
November 29th 2004



253 Comments


Not a 5/5. It's an essential disc and I love it, but not a 5/5.

Helmet are so good.

supraman_2
November 29th 2004



146 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

That statement confuses me a bit
So not to got too technical but wouldn't essential kinda be a 5/5 or are you saying 4-4.5 just wanted to clarify what you meant
thanks for the reply

Helmet are so underrated

Tangy zizzle
November 29th 2004



253 Comments


I think it represents a lot of what was happening when the album was released and it's definately the definitive Helmet album, but it's just not a 5/5.

I'd go like 4.6/5. That to me is essential. 5/5 is a classic.

sj_2150
October 19th 2005



251 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album rules

Arrakakaka
October 19th 2005



685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It wore off of me after a while.. Yet it's still awesome.

Tool46&2
April 7th 2006



8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

An all out assault on your ears,i love this album definitely the best Helmet album out there.

Tool46&2
April 7th 2006



8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review also

analrightstart
April 10th 2006



96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing album.

_Tyler
April 23rd 2006



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Helmet are insanely underrated. Meantime is definitely their best album, though they're all great. Good review, bad comparisons. They're kinda hard to compare to a single band but I think they sound somewhat like a mix of Quicksand and the Melvins.

supraman_2
June 8th 2006



146 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Should this really be in the grunge section?

Ah... Metal...much better thank you. This Message Edited On 06.16.06



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