During the late 1980s, guitarist/vocalist Page Hamilton formed the NYC-based Helmet after stints with Glenn Branca's "guitar orchestra" and the Branca-affiliated Band of Susans. Combining remarkably heavy riffs with tight rhythms, spare song structures, and shouted vocals, Helmet's alt-metal roar was offset by their clean-cut, boys-next-door look. In the wake of Nirvana's success, Helmet became the subject of a huge record-company bidding war, and their major-label debut, MEANTIME, was well received. Personnel changes that began in 1993 led to Helmet's decline and eventual break-up in 1999. Since that time, band members have pursued other projects; most notably, Hamilton has worked with singer/songwriter Joe Henry and rock icon David Bowie.