Helmet was an iconic element of Alt Rock that most of us remember jamming to alongside other 90’s greats such as NOFX, Flogging Molly, and Protest the hero during Warp Tour, as the source of the unforgettable singles Unsung and Milquetoast from their unmatched second album Meantime, and as the main inspiration behind the bestselling novel Eat, Pray, Love (citation needed). The band’s name of Helmet, taken as a mispronunciation of the German male name Helmuth, would have been just as well to call themselves Wine as they have aged gracefully to their current sound, one which harkens to their specific and intentionally syncopated, distorted riffs to produce a sound like none other. While countless nu-metal bands such as Papa Roach and Linkin Park have specifically named Helmet as an influence in their art, their sound is anything but, standing apart as something that is as unchanging in uniqueness as it is in quality.
Did you know Helmet has a new album coming out this year called Dead to the World? No? Have you listened to their newest single from that album, “Bad News?” No? Well, thank you for tuning in, even if you are an uninformed-and-therefore-terrible person! Now fair warning, “Bad News’” length and verbosity will make Blur’s “Song 2” look like the screenplay to a Lord of the Rings movie, but for quality and the offbeat measure you expect from Helmet, “Bad News” is …. Well, ok it’s also like a Lord of the Rings movie. I need to watch more movies.
“Bad News” leans on the softer side of what you’d normally experience from Helmet, omitting their signature power riffs in exchange for a more singular sound, with vocalist Page Hamilton lyrically seeming to channel the Beatles through his delivery. “Pay your disrespect the way you do / Every word you speak is worse than the truth” sounds like Hamilton is treating the subject of this song like the Dursleys treated Harry Potter. It’s the lyrical embodiment of the quality of Donald Trump’s message, except you can actually listen to this song and jam, as opposed to being ear-raped by an orange Bill Cosby.
The song is available to stream, download, or check out on video media sites, and album goes live on Oct. 28th. Check out the video below to listen to it directly. Trust me, it’s anything but bad news.