Health Get Color(Lovepump United) Buy it from Insound
Remember that rave scene from The Matrix Reloaded? Yeah, the one that didn’t really make any sense and the first of many WTF moments that those dismal sequels had in store? Well Die Slow, the noisy, rave-up of a lead single off of Health’s fantastic Get Color would have fit perfectly with that scene. And while those movies and that scene were horrendous and about as hard to get through as the average Muse album (that is to say they are fun in a campy “I’m watching only to make fun of it” kind of way), Get Color goes by fast and leaves the listener satisfied but begging for more wonderful, eardrum punishing noise.
On their 2007 debut, Health took ingredients from everything they could get their hands on to add to their tasty noise rock stew. It was decent and hugely promising. They had the sound of a young band - one that had yet to nail down a consistent sound and attacked everything with boundless enthusiasm. Get Color finds the band more focused, tighter and decisive. They’ve tightened up but haven’t stopped attacking their music in every sense of the word. The band has also become far more proficient at building and releasing tension, an improvement over the monolithic walls of sound that dominated their first record. The promises of 2007 have come to be in 2009, with Health making the cohesive, noisy album everyone knew they could.
The band owes most of that cohesiveness to the drummer, whose completely ridiculous beats are, along with the blasts of distortion that punctuate nearly every song, the undeniable soul of the band. Vocals have a newfound prominence, helping to hold the sound together even more and giving the album a darker tone. The guitars are textured, layered, noisy and chaotic, and it’s clear that they are painstakingly made to sound as such. It’s noisy but doesn’t come off as improvised; every crushing note sounds planned out.
They are still drawing from a multitude of influences but are now better at picking and choosing which parts to keep. Not only are they pulling from Sonic Youth, latter day Liars and other noise bands, but also from dance rock, trance and electronic. Highlights like Severin and Die Slow throw all of the above into the same song. Moments on the trance-y In Violet or We Are Water (the end of which is particularly fantastic) even start to sound like post-rock.
Health is yet another excellent band spawned out of LA hotspot The Smell and yet another entry into the ongoing war for the full love and attention of the indie community against Brooklyn. It’s like the old east vs. west coast rap feuds of the ‘90’s, only without the drive by shootings or any actual conflict. (My guess is the majority of these people are pacifists, though I would love to see Ed Droste fight Dean Spunt. An east against west indie brawl would undeniably be hilariously awesome. ) Brooklyn’s had some great offerings from Grizzly Bear, The Antlers and Animal Collective this year. The Smell has had little to show in 2009 until now, and Get Color can sit comfortably beside No Age’s Nouns in The Smell's continually growing canon of impressive records.1 September, 2009 - 18:33 — Andrew Baer