Born Annoying (AmRep)
by Joe Hacking
No, this is not new Helmet, but if you weren’t a fan of Betty (which I will defend to the last), this might be for you. The ten tracks span the period from 1989 to 1993 (their indie phase, basically), and show a side to Helmet unavailable until now. “Geisha To Go” sounds almost like new wave. “Born Annoying” sounds like a leftover track from Strap It On. It’s interesting to listen to Helmet go from their humble, arrrgghh rock beginnings to the crazy freight train sound that got them signed to a big label. The two instrumentals, “Rumble” and “No Nicky No,” give you the best view of this evolution while “Oven” sounds like a hybrid of the best from Strap It On and Meantime.
“Primitive,” from 1993, is probably the closest to the Helmet of the Meantime period and, consequently, the coolest tune on the disc. If you’re a hardcore Helmet fan, Born Annoying must become part of your collection. It’s a historical reference volume of an historical band that will (hopefully) deliver us something new soon.