Hear Helmet Cover Gang of Four for Their First New Song in Five Years

The much-missed metal unit have taken on "In the Ditch" for 'The Problem of Leisure' tribute album

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Apr 21, 2021

At long last, Helmet are back. Marking the first new track in five years, the alt-metal crew have delivered "In the Ditch" — a cover of Gang of Four.

Helmet's track — their first since 2016 — appears on the star-studded tribute album The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, and as a press release explains, late Gang of Four founder Andy Gill was a huge Helmet fan before his passing.

In a statement, Helmet's Page Hamilton said the following:

My old pal Henry Rollins reissued Entertainment! and Solid Gold back in the '90s and asked me to do liner notes for Solid Gold. I don't remember what I wrote, but I know it was glowing, corny and fanboy. Their songs, feel, energy, inventiveness made an indelible imprint on my musical soul. All of our peers that formed bands in the late '80s were influenced by Gang of Four.

I chose "In the Ditch" for this tribute 'cause it's a great song even though it was challenging (thank you to my band!). It feels improvised and random at times but holds together as a composition. The guitar part feels like spontaneous scratchy funk, the angular bass and drum groove grooves hard but sounds like there's a spoke missing. The vocal is somehow beautiful but scary, urgent and dangerous.

There's no room for limp dick, mail-it-in, non-musical moments in any of these songs. How the hell did they put this together? We could only try to capture the intensity of the original.

This band changed me. Thank you, Andy, Dave, Hugo & Jon.

Check out Helmet's cover of "In the Ditch" below.

The Gang of Four cover by Helmet follows others recently shared by Massive Attack's 3D and Tom Morello and Serj Tankian.

As previously reported, The Problem of Leisure is now due out on June 4 and also features covers by Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and John FruscianteIDLES, Gary Numan and more.

Latest Coverage