Friday, October 28, 2016
Helmet : " Dead to the World"
Well I just got finished reviewing the new Whores album so the opener feels almost more like Weezer in comparison. The pounding drums sit back and the vocals are too forward in the mix are my first thoughts, when thinking about what made Whores punch more than this. Going into the second I turn up the volume to see if that's the problem. The vocals really leave something to be desired as the melodies are not as locked into the rest of the song as their earlier work. The more lead like passages of guitar are mixed way back in the distance. The stompy parts that were once their calling card seem to be dialed in and obligatory. Even with the more Beatles like vocal "Bad News" feels a little more like Helmet to me. If the vocals were more forceful on "Red Scare" it might feel more like Helmet as well.
The bass adds a little more weight to the title track, though the vocals undermine this effort. I am not sure why the guitars are sitting that far back, the mix is a hug problem on this album as it takes all the balls out of it. I think what the fuck when we get to "Green Shirt" it might as well have been titled "Green Shit" as Everclear is heavier than this. Page needs to stop listening to the Kinks. Things improve a little when "Expect the World" kicks in. It feels more like a 90's alt-rock power ballad to me than what these guys are best at. It often sounds like he is not committed to the grit needed to get mean and crack heads. He tries to juggle two different directions on "Drunk In the Afternoon" and it comes across like L.A. Guns.
The last song "Look Alive" works better with it's more relaxed vibe as it comes across more like Jawbox or one of those early slacker indie rock bands. For my money...if I was going to pay for this album, this would be a let down, I think despite the few moments this album does have even for Helmet fans this has to be a let down, the really bad moments are really bad and the stronger songs don't really compensate for them< so I am rounding this album down to a 5.5, mainly because the vocals are so bad. If you want something more in line with classic Helmet go check out the new Whores album. br />