Sound: HEALTH is a noise rock/experimental electronic group, who became a big part of the electronic scene in 2007 when their album with Crystal Castles debuted, and then took off. That year would also see the release of their first album, which is self-titled. HEALTH execute a very high energy sound, that is often chaotic and uses the whole "wall of sound" factor very well. There are some beautiful sounds produced from their pedals, all behind some really furious drumming. The music can be surprising, with fits of distorted yells weaving at times through a more chilled-out drum part, with little to nothing else going on, like in the song "Tabloid Sores".
What really sets this album aside is the huge experimental factor that went into it. The songwriting is quite different from the norm, and then that is filled with some strange sounds that you hardly ever hear nowadays. The combination of their electronic equipment with their and instruments creates some very mystical and sometimes extremely aggressive sounds. This album mixes mainly instrumental tracks with a few chanted vocals spread out through some of the songs here and there. Sometimes the vocals are altered by their electronic equipment, and that also produces some really cool sounds.
01. "Heaven" - 2:37
02. "Girl Attorney" - 0:36
03. "Triceratops" - 3:14
04. "Crimewave" - 2:04
05. "Courtship" - 0:56
06. "Zoothorns" - 2:48
07. "Tabloid Sores" - 2:50
08. "/ / M \ \" - 3:26
09. "Glitter Pills" - 3:38
10. "Perfect Skin" - 4:21
11. "Lost Time" - 2:12
Music videos were released for both "Heaven" and "Crimewave". // 9
Lyrics: There are very few singing parts to this album, and if there are, they are completely non-coherent in most cases. I've not had much luck trying to find a lyric sheet, either, but I was able to find what is sung during "Crimewave":
"Eyes lit on sharp threats from dark lips
But lights press the soft skin to rough hands".
From this you can get a feel for the general vibe that HEALTH was going for in their vocal parts. I get the impression that they approach the vocals as if they are another instrument in themselves, and use them to not so much tell a story, but rather use them for their tonal properties. I enjoy it more in that sense, since I can't find the lyric sheets very easily on the Internet, but if I think of them more as a instrument than a story-telling device, it makes me want them to be used more than the very sparingly rate on this album. I'm not saying I expect them on every song, but when they do show up, it seems like it should be there for more parts. // 8
Overall Impression: HEALTH really deliver some interesting material that fits snugly in the experimental electronic and noise rock genres. This album is filled with some very confusing, but excellent sounds coming out of their speakers, and they layer that until it's so thick that it reverberates through your whole body. Add the chanted vocals and you get a little bit of a more spacey feeling. All of this is thundering on top of some very furious and chaotic drumming, which is the primary supplier of the huge discharge of energy that comes with this music.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the intensity of "Girl Attorney", and the rhythm in "Crimewave". Those two songs will always stick out the most for me on that album. I would definitely recommend this band and album for anyone who is looking for a different blend of electronic music, or for someone just starting to get into the noise rock genre. // 8