Picks and Pans Review: Betty

updated 07/04/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/04/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Helmet

Helmets are put on when you want to prevent a good pounding. Helmet is put on when you want to get one. When it comes to giving your eardrums a good thrashing, these four New York City natives are right up there with Soundgarden or Anthrax. And like those two bands, Helmet's ability to find a melody in all the madness takes them far beyond your stereotypical slash-and-burn power grunge. There's no shortage of Doc Martens stompers here; "Wilma's Rainbow" and "Vaccination" will numb your noggin', no problem. But the dingy jazz of "The Silver Hawaiian," the spare blues of "Sam Hell" and the early Pink Floyd fuzz of "Biscuits for Smut" also provide enough sonic surprises to keep your brain alert. (Interscope)

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