Wednesday, 16 April 2008



This was most people’s introduction to Helmet.  The song came with a bright, appealing video and a dense guitar sound while also housing an almost harmonic vocal in contrast.  Here was the alternative nation as done New York style.

As with all good Helmet songs “Unsung” opens with an explosion of activity as Stanier drops in a solid beat as a playful baseline shakes proceedings before Page Hamilton’s guitar erupts in the style of an incoming train crossed with a screaming elephant.  Then nature takes its course and the song taps into pure velocity.

“Unsung” was a song perfect for the era.  The track is heavy but the band is normal looking, like people an exec could work with.  Of course there was always more integrity to the act than that but generally Helmet was an act that appeared undemanding and happy to allow the music do the talking.  And talk it did, to a generation that was feeling low and unappreciated, in other words unsung.

Backing things up here is “Better” which was also taken from Meantime and displayed/expressed equally passive aggressive traits and gestures coupled with chunky blocks of guitar.  It’s a song with frothing fizz too masculine to be more than an album track or b-side.

With that the final two song of the single were live tracks taken from Chicago in July 1992 in the form of the sibling “FBLA” and “FBLA II”.  It actually makes for interesting sport to contrast the two tracks side by side considering they came from different albums and different eras of the band.  Even performed live the former is much more abrasive than the latter not that the second be soft.  Here they are wickedly served, a granite exploration of how things had evolved.

“Unsung” will always be the song Helmet are known for.

Thesaurus moment: glide.

No comments: