HEALTH – Get Color HEALTH – Get Color

Health - Get Color

Health - Get Color

L.A. Noise Rockers HEALTH are a frantic bunch. With two albums in as many years (not counting last year’s remix album) glued together with almost constant touring, HEALTH can hardly be accused of being slack. What the noise punks were in danger of was being monotonous. Not boring, no- HEALTH’s particular brand of spazzcore noise buggery was never going to cause you to fall asleep- but the incessant sound of tanks being kicked up a mountain is only going to connect so much with a listener. On latest album Get Color, HEALTH have wisely chosen to sew a semblance of melody throughout their work. Coupled with some seriously unstoppable drumming, Get Color proves to be a rewarding listen.

Not that this isn’t still Noise Rock. Opener “In Heat” sets the pace for the album and offers an accurate snapshot of what’s to come – Screeching synths, what must surely be an octopus playing the drums, and those ghostly “vocals”. Before it can outstay its welcome, single “Die Slow” creeps in like a perverse Doctor Who soundtrack, surely the closest that HEALTH will ever achieve to a pop song. It proves to be an album highlight and is the most successful example of HEALTH amalgamating noise and melody. Again, there is obviously a vocalist, but the average listener would be challenged to discern any lyrics from Get Color’s discordant synth jams. “Death+” builds up gradually and hauntingly, before developing into a truly terrifying song. It’s a similar story with the paranoia inducing “Before Tigers”, with its contrast of airy synths and cataclysmic drumming.

Album climax “We Are Water” is another fantastic example of HEALTH combining the unstoppably dark with optimistic melody. A drunken synth explodes at around 0:34 seconds in, mimicking what must surely be the sound of a Transformer dying. Synth is used far greater on Get Color, and as this song shows, to greatly atmospheric effect. Closer “Violet” interestingly holds off on becoming an expected no holds barred noise freakout. Instead it contrasts eerily with the rest of Get Color, and shows that perhaps HEALTH have learned the importance of taking their sound in a different direction.

Not that Get Color is a flawless work. Whilst melody has been introduced, the sinews of pure noise that remain still make it a challenging listen. Also worth mentioning is this: If you’re the sort of person that thinks Queens Of The Stoneage are heavy, this probably won’t appeal. Get Color is however, a move in the right direction for HEALTH. The next one should be unbelievable.

1. In Heat
2. Die Slow
3. Nice Girls
4. Death +
5. Before Tigers
6. Severin
7. Eat Flesh
8. We Are Water
9. In Violet

HEALTH - Get Color, reviewed by Lemon on 2009-09-10T11:01:36-07:00 rating 3.6 out of 5

One Response about “HEALTH – Get Color”

  • Charles says:

    Still struggling with this record, myself. I hear the melody but it hasn’t caught me yet. I think it’s the synth. It leaves me feeling lazy when I once wanted to set the bar on fire.