Helmet - The Cathouse, Glasgow, Friday 17 Dec 2010 (4 stars)

Helmet - The Cathouse, Glasgow, Friday 17 Dec 2010

The weight and ingenuity of metal without the cheese and pretension

The outbreak of onstage mild hysteria at the Cathouse tonight can be attributed to a number of things – although the support band playing the first song of the American quartet’s encore is never entirely explained. Mostly, the technical gremlins along with the knowledge that this is the final date of a year-long, global trek in support of new album Seeing Eye Dog means everyone concerned is just a little bit giddy.

This gives the evening a slightly surreal edge in parts, the parts that is, where Page Hamilton and his sinewy bunch of rock hunks aren’t throwing down some massive, thundering guitar grooves ripped straight from the belly of a bellowing whale. Trawling their lumpy, if sizeable back catalogue – but criminally ignoring their genius debut – the band grind out enough class A head nodders to give even the most static of cynics whiplash.

At times, Helmet’s schtick can be a little one-dimensional, but when they lock into a juddering, monolithic swagger, it is pretty spectacular – the weight and ingenuity of metal without the cheese and pretension.

Cathouse, Glasgow Friday 17 Dec

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