HEALTH: Death Magic (Loma Vista) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, August 3rd, 2020  

HEALTH

Death Magic

Loma Vista

Aug 05, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


"And we both know/Love's not in our hearts" sings the trademark detached androgynous voice on "Stonefist" one last time, you gritting your teeth in anticipation of the instrumental refrain, a heavy and pounding electronic assault of synthesized distortion and kick-snare repetition, a metallic taste in the mouth, a melody, then some strangely, specifically identifiable '80s Korg keyboard sound suddenly dotting this weird landscape of Los Angeles warehouses and apocalyptic skylines.

"Men Today" is all of the floor toms in all of the collapsing buildings; "Flesh World (UK)" ecstatic industrial end-times gore for the dance floor war.

Drum machines bounce off vast concrete walls and pick fights with thrashing tribal drummers. Depeche Modes and Pet Shop Boys stand amid the chaos trying to superimpose easy dance-floor melodies, somehow succeeding, plugging their ears against the visceral, mind-tweaking distortion emanating from amps and PA systems whose days are surely numbered. R.I.P. The metal taste again, a filling comes loose. Nails on chalkboards. Nails on bricks. Bricks through windows. Dance, motherfucker.

"Salvia" is de/reprogramming you with machine-gun kick drums, tunnel-vision, claustrophobia. "L.A. Looks" is '80s sunglasses; a nosebleed, a quick synthesizer salvo, and a car driving swiftly off a cliff.

HEALTH haven't produced a proper album since 2009; got caught up in the trappings of producing a neo-noir third-person-shooter video game soundtrackas bands so often don'tand explaining it to their fanbase. But: here they are again, maybe smashing their usual double-header of noise album à remix album into both at once, for once, the edgy cuts and the cutting edge andcinema, the uncanny valley, dead eyes, pure pop, DEATH MAGIC.

"Life is good," declares "New Coke" before unleashing a military stomp that screams urban collapse. The agony, the ecstasy, the hedonism, the nihilism, the feedback loop at its confusing apexzero fucks. "Drugs Exist." (www.facebook.com/healthnoise)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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pencilhead
August 7th 2015
5:32am

Loving this album.