without Internet Explorer,
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In 2004, Helmet reformed after several years but things aren’t quite as good as they were before. Page Hamilton is the only original member still in the band. Chris Traynor, who played guitar on the tour for Aftertaste returns but drummer John Stanier and bassist Henry Bogdan are both absent. Their places are filled by ex-White Zombie/Testament drummer John Tempesta and Anthrax’s bassist Frank Bello (although he doesn’t play on this album).
The main problem here is that the songs lack the catchiness of their earlier work. Many of the songs just aren’t memorable at all. Another problem is Page’s voice which sounds pretty strained at times. Nothing like his old ‘singing’ style. The album’s not a total loss though. Smart is a decent enough opener but the vocals definitely have a negative impact on the song. Crashing Foreign Cars is better and is quite an enjoyable little tune. Throwing Punches has a nice solo and some decent riffs. Last Breath brings the album to a close and is the only song that comes close to quality albums like Betty or Meantime. It’s still not perfect but it’s my favourite song on this album by far.
While it’s nice to see the band back, the material seems much weaker than before. Much of this album was written for a band Page had formed a couple of years before he reformed Helmet called Gandhi. Last Breath shows promise but is not enough to save a very mediocre album. Better luck next time, guys.