HELMET – Live and Rare
BAND URL: https://www.helmetmusic.com/
“Live and Rare” captures Helmet in all their raw glory in New York (1990) and Australia (1993), and there is an unbridled enthusiasm and a huge sense of joy permeating these two shows that makes for an entertaining listen. The 1990 concert from the legendary CBGB is the most memorable one, and you can almost feel the sweat and adrenaline in that club here, which is pretty neat. After all, that is what live albums are all about, evoking that special feeling of being present at the gig and in the moment. Loud, noisy, and energetic, this disc is an interesting snapshot of Helmet’s early years and a good display of just how pissed-off, concise, and full of determination their compositions were back then. The unrefined and crunchy sound of these live tapes only emphasizes the fact that these US alternative metallers/noise rockers came up with some gritty tunes, and some of this stuff is delightfully unhinged and chaotic at times and undoubtedly leans towards hardcore. The music certainly retains its fresh edge even today.
I cannot deny that listening to it makes me feel somewhat nostalgic and sentimental, and apart from its musical qualities it is also quite interesting from a purely historical perspective, but it is not necessarily a record that I will listen to very often. Unless you are a die-hard fan of the band or you were there at CBGB or at the gig in Melbourne, you can probably skip this one even though it does possess a certain charm and power.