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Helmet, ‘Seeing Eye Dog’ — New Song

Tom Hoppa

On first listen, ‘Seeing Eye Dog’ comes off full of anger with a muddied thick riff guiding the tension; it’s a glare back the early days of Helmet, but as the frontman/guitarist Page Hamilton explained to Noisecreep, that’s just a tongue-in-cheek trick of the song. “Anger is a very small percentage of the emotion that I use.

“I think it’s funny that there’s that sarcastic delivery,” the 50-year-old songwriter delighted, reciting his favorite lines into the phone. “‘Nobody was paying attention/Man you had the world on the run/Everybody jumps/Everybody swoons/Everybody was whistling your tune.’ That doesn’t seem that angry to me,” he laughed. “It seems kind of like, ‘You’re a douche.’”

Listen to ‘Seeing Eye Dog’

Indie Work Song

The song’s lyrical beginnings came not from a finger-pointing place, but from the poem ‘The Seeing Eye’ by Ezra Pound, who Hamilton first discovered when he was in college. “I don’t even pretend to understand half of where he’s coming from, but it’s so beautiful.”

For those not aware of Pound’s literary legacy he was the one that Richard Yates, T.S. Elliot and James Joyce looked at to edit their work. “We’re talking about a major literary movement, and this guy was at the center of it.” He talks of the poet in an adoration that has never left him.

Hamilton actually enjoys the interpretations and misplaced emotions people put on the song; it’s all because of the vocal delivery, which he details as something that didn’t happen until recording the album. “When I’m singing at home in my little Zen studio with neighbors up the hill and across the way that can hear everything I do it different than performing it in a studio.

“Once I got on the mic this thing came out — this voice and [vocal producer Mark Ren] was like, ‘Holy f—!’ And I go, ‘Yeah. That’s what I wanted.’ Because I knew it needed that sort of delivery.”

As for the riff that guides the song Hamilton sees it as very Led Zeppelin in construction. Even during the gold record days of the ’90s and being labeled noise rock helmet has always been a band from the school of Zep. “It was one of those things. I hadn’t picked up the guitar in a couple of weeks, and I picked up the guitar and this riff just jumped out to my brain. I just let it happen,” says Hamilton. “It kind of wrote itself.”

Helmet’s seventh full-length, ‘Seeing Eye Dog,’ hit shelves on Sept. 7.

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