Someone took Coil and Duran Duran and smushed them up into one package. I never cared for anything from Health before this album, but there’s a depth and fractured 80s weirdness here that’s lovely. And lovely like Gold is the Metal…, not the totally shit return of New Wave DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP routine that’s current pummeling us from coast to coast.
I am somewhat prescient when it comes to musical trends, and like I’ve told many a person popular music will be dominated by a disco/hip hop fusion (the beginnings of which can be seen with the rise – and fall – of vocoding and are manifested most succinctly in Lady Gaga aka Peaches 3.0). But for the rest of the landscape, much of it will be seeing the 80s experimental current come alive again, and not just at Throbbing Gristle shows. Hell, just look at the cover!
“Death +” is straight out of Coil‘s legacy of mixing the strange and the abrasive in a way that approaches beauty. I am also loving the hell out of the weepy, wispy, melted vocals best shown on the almost post-punk workout “Before Tigers”. It has an almost gender-neutral quality that is uselessly mumbly but evocative of a grey saturday morning in a part of the city you’re not familiar with. They nudge toward “epic” once or twice, mostly with “Severin” and the album closer, “In Violet”, but Health seems content to dance around the weird odds and ends of rock music made with samples and synths.
Complaint time: Get Color is phasey as all hell and the bit-crushing gets a little monotonous at times, making things rough on the ears in an annoying rather than cathartic way.