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Monday, May 30, 2011

Helmet - Wilma's Rainbow EP

Released : 1994
Recorded live July 30, 1994 at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles,
Mobile recording by Westwood One.
Genre : Alternative Metal, Post Hardcore
Lenght : 24:47
Label : Interscope Records
Producer : T- Ray, Helmet

On first listen, the lead off single from Helmet's Betty album looked like the band were restraining their sound and just becoming that bit more accessible. The T-Ray production was slicker and controlled but Hamilton's staccato riffing was still there and punching above the big production, but one thing that does come to the fore is how each thundering instrument is so deliciously clear, cutting and decisive. "Wilma's Rainbow" tells only a side of the Betty album, Helmet were eclectic during this period and "Sam Hell" would be a polarising case in point. The song is harsh and discordant with an over distorted, peak breaking almost purposely Lo Fi feel, but trudges along with a banjo, slide guitar and a dark yet jokey southern vocal and odd lyric. But backing up this release is a few live cuts which make this release worthwhile. "Sinatra" sounds menacing and "FBLA" sounds more venomous in the live situation than the minimalistic studio approach of the Strap It On album while "Tic" too sounds bruising than the final Betty version while the powerhouse "Just Another Victim" and crowd pleaser "In The Meantime" round off a decent collection of live tracks to augment the pairing of "Wilma's Rainbow and "Sam Hell".


1. Wilma's Rainbow
2. Sinatra (Live)
3. FBLA II (Live)
4. Tic (Live)
5. Just Another Victim (Live)


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