Strap It On

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Strap It On
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1990
(re-released November 1991)
StudioFun City, New York, NY
GenreAlternative metal, post-hardcore, noise rock
LabelAmphetamine Reptile, Interscope
ProducerWharton Tiers, Helmet
Helmet chronology
Strap It On
Singles from Strap It On
  1. "Repetition"
    Released: October 1990[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
Q4/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[3]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[5]

Strap It On is the debut album by American alternative metal band Helmet. Originally released in 1990 through Amphetamine Reptile Records, it was subsequently rereleased by Interscope in November 1991.

Critics considered the album innovative for its explosive, propulsive, and often staccato riff style which greatly exploited Drop D tuning. It has since become a cult classic in the post-hardcore genre and even influential on the metal scene. The moody, atmospheric "Sinatra" differed from most of the fast-paced, metal-influenced songs on the album; its lyrics featured a paraphrasing of Dean Martin's famous line about the crooner, "It's Sinatra's world/We just live in it."

Reception and legacy[edit]

The album received positive reviews, with critics praising the band's fresh, raw and innovative sound. Allmusic's Jason Birchmeier wrote in his review "The nine-song album is a brief one, clocking in around a half-hour, but even such brevity proves wonderfully exhausting by the time you near the last couple songs. In fact, by the time you make it past "Sinatra," one of the album's highlights and also the halfway point, slow fatigue threatens as the riffs continue to hammer away unrelentingly and vocalist Page Hamilton's sometimes-tuneful, oftentimes-bellowing shouting grows seemingly further agonized. The overall relentlessness should be a sheer pleasure to those who enjoy the intensity of metal without the clownish clichés yet, at the same time, enjoy the originality of alt-rock without the pansy passivity."[2] Future guitarist Chris Traynor was a fan of the album, and considered it to be "one of the most important rock records ever."[6]

The Sacramento-based alternative metal group Deftones covered the song "Sinatra", with it appearing on their 2005 compilation album B-Sides & Rarities.[7][8]

Track listing[edit]

All music and lyrics by Page Hamilton.

3."Bad Mood"2:15
8."Make Room"3:28
Total length:30:49
Japanese bonus track
Total length:32:53

Early pressings of the album incorrectly listed the title of the third song as "Bad Moon". The Japanese release has one extra track, "Impressionable", which also appears on the Amphetamine Reptile compilation 7" EP Dope, Guns 'n' Fucking in the Streets Vol. 5. The song title FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America.


Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
1995 Alternative Press United States "Top 99 Of '85 to '95" 25 [9]
1998 Alternative Press United States "The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s" 12 [10]
"*" denotes an unordered list.





  1. ^ "Helmet Repetition (7")". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. "allmusic ((( Strap It On > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Helmet". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 373, cited March 18, 2010
  4. ^ Columnist. "Strap It On". Q. May 1995. pg. 125, cited March 18, 2010
  5. ^
  6. ^ "". 1997-08-29. Retrieved 2013-02-21. (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Deftones - B-Sides & Rarities (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  8. ^ "Discography". Deftones. Archived from the original on 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  9. ^ "Alternative Press - Top 99 Of '85 to '95". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  10. ^ "Alternative Press - The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2009-12-03.