Heavy metal just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
Witness "alternative-metal" acts Rollins Band, which plays near-Jazz/metal, Helmet, a blend of blues, hardcore punk and metal and funky trio Sausage, which is the original lineup of Primus.The three acts will play Saturday, Aug. 6 at the State Fairpark Coliseum. Tickets are $17.50 in advance from Cosmic Aeroplane, Smokey's Records, Graywhale CD Exchange stores and Sonic Garden.
Described as metal and "anti-metal," New York's Helmet walks a fine line between metal and punk-rock. Singer/guitarist/song- writer Page Hamilton, who started his career in Band of Susans, fumbled when trying to put the music into some sort of context.
"The Helmet thing has become so specific now," Hamilton said in a recent telephone interview. "Not that I can describe exactly what that sound is. But now that it's established, it's given us the chance to do a little more writing."
Helmet's third full-length release, "Betty," features typical-sounding Helmet numbers like "Wilma's Rainbow," "Street Crab" and "Speechless." But elsewhere, joyous-sounding songs like the straight-ahead blues of "Sam Hell" and a radical reworking of the jazz standard "Beautiful Love" reveal that the band has never had so much fun recording before.
"I'm very pleased with the way the new record has turned out," Hamilton said. "It was the most fun I'd ever had - really the only fun I'd ever had - in the studio. It's not that the first two weren't fun to make - they were, in the respect that they were creatively challenging. But this was the first time everyone was really getting along, working together, working off everyone else."
Helping in that regard is new guitarist Rob Echeverria, who replaces founding member Peter Mengede.
"Working with the new lineup has been really smooth," Hamilton said. "It's great to have Rob's flamenco blood adding spice to the stew. Plus, he looks great in his Village People fireman's costume - best pecs in the band."
Also, for the first time, bass guitarist Henry Bogdan contributed some of his own material, which Hamilton said was more of a rewarding experience.
"It was the first time I'd ever sang to music I hadn't written," he said.
Sausage will open the show at 7:30 p.m., with Helmet and Rollins Band following. The concert is a Scott Arnold production.