HEALTH - HEALTH - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab


by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

LA experimental noise merchants HEALTH emerged from the sweaty environs of DIY punk club The Smell in 2008 to hit us with this, their first album; a work by turns brutal, fragile, invigoratingly dumb and jaw-droppingly brilliant. From the midnight magik of first track 'Heaven' to the staggeringly great 'Triceratops', which somehow manages to cram screamo thrash, post punk drumming, itchy disco and bowel-cramping noise into a very small period of time and make it danceable, in an epileptic fit kind of way. Then there's 'Girl Attorney', as short and bracing as a slap in the face with an iron gauntlet, 'Crimewave's dissociative elision of tumbling drums and mangled guitars, and the rise of the machines hellscape of 'Zoothorns' and 'Tabloid Sores'.

Meanwhile, the glacial synth pulse of '8-M' and the minimalist electro of 'Glitter Pills' pointed the way towards the band's second album, and their close relationship with Crystal Castles (who reworked "Crimwave' and sampled 'Courtship' for their own 'Courtship Dating') gave HEALTH cool points with electro fans, something they were smart enough to capitalise on with the HEALTH/DISCO remix album.

Many tracks are brief and vicious, staying long enough to make their point and then collapsing in on themselves like sonic super novas. But each served as notice that, while guitar music elsewhere seemed to have nothing new to say and was content to do little more than adjust the crotch of its unfeasibly skinny jeans, here - when we'd almost stopped looking - came a new hope.

Best Tracks: 'Triceratops', 'Glitter Pills', '8-M'

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