(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Crazy to think that Helmet was once considered innovative—nay, revolutionary—for having short hair and playing metal (albeit the weaker shade of the genre, alt-metal). Long before Metallica chopped off their Samsonian locks, the New York band passed through AmRep and eventually graduated to a major label, moving over a million copies of their breakthrough LP Meantime. Betty and Aftertaste both failed to produce another "Unsung," and the band faded from memory, perhaps with the exception of their cameo in The Jerky Boys movie. Now the band is just Page Hamilton and a few (short-haired) ringers, but perhaps if you ask nicely enough they'll regale the crowd with something from the Judgment Night soundtrack. If only House of Pain was still around to join in. EAC

Serpent Crown, Scaphism

(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) When it comes to some metal, the low-end gets lost in the mix, as screaming guitars and blazing solos can often take the foreground, leaving the bass ignored in the back somewhere. San Francisco's Serpent Crown don't subscribe to that philosophy. The trio's songs go from thrash to heavy rock to hardcore and back again. However, their genre-jumping ways are always unified by the girth of their tone. Dara Santhai's thick, fuzzy guitar and throaty vocals play a major role in creating the band's subterranean sound. Serpent Crown also features the rumbling double-kick and tom-heavy style of tub-clubber Will Carroll, who is currently a member of Death Angel. ARIS WALES

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