# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


  by Chris O'Toole

published: 18 / 3 / 2008

Label: Lovepump United
Format: CD


Compellingly intense debut album from unpredictable and aggressive pioneers of the Los Angeles Underground scene, HEALTH

Pioneers of the Los Angeles underground– where they are at the forefront of a DIY noise scene based around local all-ages club The Smell – HEALTH are a tribal war machine marching relentlessly into the conscience of the western world. Awash with nightmare educing whirrs, unpredictable and aggressive guitars and warring drums - all arranged in a co-ordinated chaos – HEALTH are a visceral, cerebral noise horror-show. Key to their appeal is the sheer primal intensity with which they play. Their self-titled first album begins slowly, with nearly a full minute of abject silence before exploding in 100 hundred different directions all at once. A lop-sided bass line sprints off toward one horizon, while a banshee like scream aims for another. It sounds like a beautiful box of spanners falling down a marble staircase in the dead of night. Heart attack inducing noise – new music with old sounds. At just under thirty minutes in length the record barely lets up the pace from their on in. While divided into eleven tracks listeners are hard pressed to find a seam, with the relentless assault continuing virtually to the closing beats. Throughout dramatic crescendos build in moments and explode like fireworks in your living room – like Liars but with less progressive baggage. Only during the last two tracks, 'Lost Time' and 'Perfect Skin', do the group slow down – adopting a cavernous, glacial sound – a slow death-march toward the end. It sounds like repentance for what has come before. Also of interest is the recording process. Put to tape at the aforementioned Smell venue, HEALTH use a pedal/microphone of their own invention called the Zoothorn. They also have a penchant for ribbon microphones designed for BBC radio broadcasts in the 1930's. Both these nuances give HEALTH a unique, taught but distant sound. It is as though there are playing metres back from the microphones, as to be any closer would push their fragile equipment over the edge and into retirement. One further point of reference would be the Boredoms; with 'Tabloid Sores' a case in point. What sounds like a thousand drums lay down a frantic, riotous beat – cajoling the rest of the band into one further frenzied attack. A band-saw is also wheeled into the studio and waved righteously in the air toward all who remain present, while Jacob Duzsik on vocals lashes out against what seems like an eternity of torment. HEALTH have also been on tour with eight-bit glitch duo Crystal Castles in recent months. They appear on that group’s 'Crimewave' – taken from their first, again self-titled album - and have also released a split EP with the group. All told this promises to be a very special year indeed for HEALTH.

Track Listing:-
1 Heaven
2 Girl Attorney
3 Triceratops
4 Crimewave
5 Courtship
6 Zoothorns
7 Tabloid Sores
8 / / M \ \
9 Glitter Pills
10 Perfect Skin
11 Lost Time

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live reviews

Luminaire, London, 1/5/2008
HEALTH - Luminaire, London, 1/5/2008
Chris O' Toole is impressed by both experimental Los Angeles' quartet HEALTH's force and volume at a show at the Luminaire in London

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