Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Report to the Dance Floor :Health's " Death Magic"
I question some of the reviews where I have seen this project referred to has an industrial, they are edm with certainly a dark and dirty slant to it and a kick , but Industrial ? Well it took many listens to convince me of this. This is their sixth album and it's been five years in the making, so no wonder they have become masters at layering some clever vocal melodies over yearning grooves to create some hooks that sink into your brain and pull you along for the ride. They flirt with industrial and might even be influenced by as evident on what follows the tribal pound of drums that open " Men Today" and their is some noise to it , while the sounds assembled are cool , for an album with such emphasis place on sex and drugs it feels like foreplay with no climax. There's an old 80s dance feel to "Flesh World" the androgynous are very fey in the same manner of Sliversun Pick ups or Savage Garden. There are some glitch ridden sounds thrown into the sonic jumble. I have always wondered if the remixes are going to sound better than the originals , then why not just make the original songs sound like that in the first place? Well the solve that by making "Flesh World" sound like it has already been re-mixed.
There is an "Army of Me " pulse to "Courtship" , then the album begins backing off from their industrial into more Pet Shop Boys territory on " Dark Enough". That has a slight dancehall skip to the beat. The melody turns around on the song in a way that reminds me of "Policy of Truth". Things get even poppier with "Life". The opening cadence to "Salvia" might fool some into thinking this is industrial, and it is rather close to some one like Soft Moon. But it's really just an interlude. "New Coke" is a surreal form of ghostly pop that echoes behind the beat. Out of the darkness that has generally been the rule of thumb for this albums comes the sparkle of "L.A. Looks". This could be played on the dance floor of any hispter dive.
There is a little bit of a witch house thing going on in the production, some of it has the old school Zola Jesus lo-fi quality to it and this is brought out on "Hurt Yourself". The album ends with the very fitting " Drugs are Real" whose lyrics makes me think of a few old friend and takes me to a place of morbid reflection on my drug days. I like where the vocals sit in the mix on this one.I'll give it a 9.5 and see how it grows on me , it is good enough for me to want to dig into their previous albums.