- Helmet: Page Hamilton (vocals, guitar); Peter Mengede (guitar); Henry Bogdan (bass); John Stanier (drums).
- Recorded at Fun City, New York City and Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, Illinois.
- Personnel: Page Hamilton (vocals, guitar); Peter Mengede, Peter Mengele (guitar); John Stanier (drums).
- Audio Mixers: Andy Wallace; Steve Sisco.
- Recording information: Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, IL; Fun City.
- Photographer: David Plowden.
- In the early 1990s, Helmet was touted as the Next Big Thing. An unlikely bunch to be hailed as such, the clean-cut New York City-based quartet--led by classically trained Oregon transplant Page Hamilton--created such a massive buzz in the underground that the ensuing bidding war (won by Interscope) is regarded as legendary in the music industry.
- On its major-label debut, Helmet threw out convention, and, in doing so, reshaped the face of alternative rock. Taking cues from post-punk influences like Big Black, Helmet deconstructed songs to their very essences, eliminating guitar solos, drum fills, and anything else even remotely extraneous. The result was a furious bombardment of solid three-note riffage, unpredictable time signatures, abrupt drum breaks, and tense jazz-influenced harmonies. Focused and precise, MEANTIME screams with unprecedented immediacy and confidence. Although the record wasn't quite the mainstream success it was slated to be, MEANTIME helped to define the sub-genre of alternative metal and inspired legions to follow Helmet's lead. The band's legacy can be heard in the music of Deftones, Linkin Park, Korn, and countless others.
Rolling Stone (9/17/92, p.91) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "...A marvel of precisely channeled aggression...Strict, ingenious arrangements...Helmet's exultantly ferocious sound boasts the brontosaurian backbeat of metal and the vehemence of hardcore...makes Metallica sound like the Archies..."
Spin (8/92, p.81) - Highly Recommended - "...when firing on all eight cylinders Helmet lurches boldly between Prong's mechanized coolness and the visceral industry of Skin Chamber....heavy and loud....an industrial strength alternative to McSpirit.."
Entertainment Weekly (8/21/92, p.62) - "...tightfisted speed-thrash, but without the overblown melodrama of the metal scene....Hamilton bellows with the best of them and the band brings a stripped-down punkiness to its riffing..." - Rating: B-
Option (11-12/92, p.120) - "...the loud, thudding simplicity of this disc is downright liberating--like trains having sex....a chunk of rock & roll so powerfully succinct and perfect that it'll make future Helmet records irrelevant. Wow..."