Rhythm & Views


During the early-to-mid 1990s, Helmet was one of the most promising hard rock bands. Two albums later, facing the outbreak of nu-metal, Helmet called it quits in 1998.

Fast forward to the present day, when nu-metal is slowly dying out and pure, hard-rock music is slowly returning. Helmet frontman Page Hamilton has resurrected his monster with Size Matters.

Although well-hyped with high expectations, Size Matters is simply a painful disappointment.

Like Axl Rose and Dave Mustaine trying to resurrect their bands without the original members, Hamilton has done the same. The hired hands for Size Matters are Chris Traynor, who joined Helmet following the release of 1996's Aftertaste and remains on guitar; and former White Zombie and current Rob Zombie drummer John Tempesta. While Traynor laid down the bass lines for the album, Hamilton recruited recently departed Anthrax bassist Frank Bello to complete the picture.

While handling their own parts, Hamilton's all-stars shine individually, but never click as a unit. A song about relationships ending ugly, "See You Dead," sounds like a first-time jam session. Hamilton's vocal presentation does not even match his psychotic lyrics.

The majority of Size Matters seems like forced aggression. On "Crashing Foreign Cars," Hamilton grunts like a pro wrestler; following the ongoing trend of finding new chords to down-tune guitars, "Smart" strives for a cheap headbang out of listeners.

If size really does matter, then the return of Helmet is itsy-bitsy.