Helmet
Betty


4.0
excellent

Review

by Supercoolguy64 USER (86 Reviews)
July 7th, 2015 | 45 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A document that shows a band experimenting their sound and getting the right results

Part III - The Only One Who Could Show Us It All

After the moderate success with the overwhelmingly outstanding record that is Meantime, Helmet found themselves in a rather odd position. By this point in time, they were in the spotlight, and the mainstream MTV “alternative” crowd had their eyes all over the band. This could of greatly influenced the writing and production for their third album, would Helmet basically release Meantime Part 2, or would they record a completely different album altogether? Betty, the band’s third consecutive album, answers this question, for after one quick listen, it becomes obvious that the group chose the latter option.

While nowhere near as intense as it’s predecessor, Betty includes a lot of experimentation within it, as the band’s jazz and funk influences become very noticeable in multiple tracks. For example, “Biscuits for Smut” is a fun number that makes you question whether or not it was made by the same band that did “In The Meantime”. Henry Bogdan’s bass is incredibly thick and funky, bouncing against the juicy guitars, adding a carefree-attitude to the track. The dynamics on some of the songs here are also worthy of mention, such as those to be found on “Milquetoast”. This track begins with the band’s trademark crunch, with John Stainer’s complex drum work acts as the foundations for Page Hamilton’s and then-newly recruited Rob Echeverria’s heavy guitar riffs. Then, out of the blue, the guitar's end, leaving behind Bogdan’s irresistible bass tone, layered with Hamilton’s echoing croons.

Perhaps the most positive aspect of this record as a whole is just how fluid it is, the flow of the album is absolutely perfect. The way each track transitions into the next is flawless, almost unnoticeable, really, making for a very nice listening, even when you hear the dull, boring tracks such as “Overrated” and “Clean”. While I’m on that topic, the main issue with the album would be just that: the boring, dull tracks. While songs such as “Overrated” aren’t necessarily horrible on their own, they’re just really dull and mediocre when compared to some of the album’s highlights. While most of the tracks here have odd time structures, interesting dynamics, or at least some cool experimentation with them, songs like “Clean” feel incredibly tame in comparison. Although, there is still this one very simplistic, yet very effective song to be found on this record. That song? ”Speechless”.

Starting out with one of the heaviest riffs in the band’s history, “Speechless” starts out very bleak. Hamilton has absolutely no color in his voice when he sings, droning over the harsh, cold guitars as he does so. However, it’s when you reach the chorus is when the mood shifts a bit. The chorus is much more upbeat and, to an extent, optimistic sounding. The guitars feel a bit more lighter, and Hamilton doesn’t sound like he watched a train wreck here. What follows is a nasty bridge, the bass weighing about the same as a sunken ship as the guitar solo yet again reminds us what makes Helmet so great in the first place.

While it might not live up to the commercial success of Meantime, it’s still a very intriguing follow-up that showed exactly what sort of tricks where up Helmet’s sleeves. It’s perhaps the only album in their catalogue that truly shows exactly everything they could do with their music, making it one of the more interesting listens they’ve made.



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user ratings (605)
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Victor Silveira (4)
Don't judge a book by its cover....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Supercoolguy64
July 7th 2015


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

3 down, 5 more to go

Supercoolguy64
July 7th 2015


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i know makes me cry

yeah but in all seriousness its probably 2nd or 3rd best song ehre

Supercoolguy64
July 7th 2015


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

because i like that album bitch

Supercoolguy64
July 7th 2015


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk tbh i never really cared for jackson all that much

its great, dont get me wrong, but i always liked toast and over better

idk maybe i should just re listen to it

Supercoolguy64
July 7th 2015


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eh, i guess its just that i listen to toast the most whenever i jam tar

Supercoolguy64
July 7th 2015


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah its pretty epic

Supercoolguy64
January 28th 2016


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the fuck was i thinking when i said jackson wasn't all that good?

RunOfTheMill
July 31st 2018


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great thread

ezzomania
June 23rd 2021


496 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

have a pos

Lichtbringer
June 23rd 2021


1158 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic album, deserving of a much longer thread.

RunOfTheMill
June 23rd 2021


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty sure the main thread is here: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/14705/Helmet-Betty/



Doesn't appear on the list of other reviews because it's been frogstomped

kkarron
May 26th 2023


1385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

huh so this is the main review for this one now

Sharenge
June 5th 2023


5175 Comments


what I hear, fear motivates

kkarron
June 21st 2023


1385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish I could make love to the snare sound on this.

DoofDoof
June 21st 2023


15093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've got a little obsessed with this album recently

claygurnz
June 21st 2023


7582 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice one Doof, its a stone cold classic in my eyes

Davil667
June 21st 2023


4047 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

clay knows, as classic as it gets.

Lichtbringer
June 21st 2023


1158 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fokk yeah

DavidYowi
June 21st 2023


3512 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best production ever

zakalwe
June 21st 2023


38916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Helmet. Ooh Betty.



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