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    Size Matters

    Tue, 21 Sep 2004 12:55:06

    Album Reviews: Size Matters by Helmet

    Go ahead, play Size Matters for your friends. See if they can identify this band, once the noisy epitome of throbbing menace, and now apparently some sort of bar-band wannabe. Part of the problem is that Helmet frontman Page Hamilton now wants to adorn his bare-bones riffs with melody - a heroic task, because not only is he a horrible singer (this is why we used to love him, right?), but he straps on far too many forgettable melodies for an album this narrowly focused.

    Every song on Size Matters is brimming with vituperation towards an ex-lover, who over the course of the album acquires our deepest sympathies. Especially after Hamilton wishes for her death ("See You Dead"), then waxes ridiculous about his own petty envy ("Everybody Loves You"). I'm sure Hamilton's intent is to make you pity him, not the lover, but if you're gonna convince an audience to join in the hate, you need to conjure up some genuine wrath. In this task he fails completely. Workhorse riffs and strained, anonymous singing just can't do the job, no matter how many B-list sidemen you pack into the recording studio (in this case veterans of Orange 9mm, Testament, and Anthrax). Hell, the one standout track, "Last Breath", makes you wish for 1992, as its evolving riff stumbles into the past and the molten solo ignites the receding horizon.

    So yes, the wait is over. You'd think that after seven years, Page Hamilton could conjure up something greater than this generic mess, but clearly his muse has ditched him. - Mark Desrosiers

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