Monday, November 15, 2010
Helmet at the Key Club
How many times have I reviewed Helmet? This would be my thirteenth. As long as Page Hamilton continues to devastate with his trademark ESP guitar, I will be there. While the idea of fighting Sunset Strip traffic on a Friday night was daunting, I had to see Helmet's last show prior to their departure for a European tour.
Seeing Eye Dog is Helmet's latest release and falls in line sonically somewhere between Aftertaste and Meantime. Helmet did an excellent job of mixing in new songs with older classics. "Swallowing Everything" kicked off their set that didn't relent. "Birth Defect" continued to stir the mosh pit with its blaring guitars and rock steady drumming by Kyle Stevenson.
Helmet was energized playing their new songs like "So Long" and "Algiers" that doesn't stray from the classic Helmet formula of crushing your skull. A double blast of "See You Dead" and "Ironhead" had me watching my back as the circle pit had expanded to the front of the stage. Their new bass player Dave Case was dialed in to the band using his G&L bass to replicate Henry Bogdan's trademark bass sound.
The inclusion of "Black Top" from Strap It On definitely appeased older fans with its sheer viciousness. Jagged knife sharp guitars continued with "Repetition", "Tic" and the set closing "Milquetoast" that had Hamilton adding some extra noise variations. "Crisis King" is one of my favorite songs from Aftertaste and sounded flawless for the opening of the encore. "Wilma's Rainbow" and "In The Meantime" perfectly closed the evening as the band will continue to tour in Europe.