- Ryan Drever
- 9 March 2009
Combining displays of tight instrumentation and technical ability, with unprecendented lashings of noise and experimentation, L.A. quartet Health, are a sound to behold. In their short time together, the band have made a name for themselves in their native city through a string of notorious - and more often than not, free - live shows, eventually resulting in the release of a self-titled debut and remix album, as well as split releases with Canadian cousins, Crystal Castles. And if that wasn't enough, the band were also lucky enough to land several dates supporting seminal noise-makers Nine Inch Nails last year.
After early attempts at songwriting, the band's first foray into basic experimentation came after running their microphones through various guitar pedals, to create a visceral and often uneasy sound. This effect has been utilised by others before (such as At The Drive-In and These Arms Are Snakes) but from that point on, this sound and mechanism - now come to be known as the Zoothorn - became a staple in the bands' approach to music and the creation of their own unique and unsettling sounds.
As they gear up for an stint at SXSW, and a subsequent jaunt across Europe - including a stop in Glasgow - here are the basics on Health, to get you up to scratch.
Who are they?
They are Messrs Miller, Duzsik, Famiglietti and Keyes, better known as B.J., Jake, John and Jupiter respectively.
What do they sound like?
A potent mixture of blistering drums, brash guitar stabs, haunting vocals and a LOT of noise - both organic and electronic. Almost like a digital-age Sonic Youth. If you are already a fan of Crystal Castles you may be somewhat familiar with the song 'Crimewave', which the Canadian duo remixed the hell out of to heavy acclaim - on dancefloors and from critics alike - in 2007.
Where can you hear more?
The band released their self-titled debut album in 2007 on the New York based Lovepump United label and also released a follow up remix album, entitled Health//Disco. The band have announced the release of both a new single, 'Die Slow', around April time and a follow-up full length, 'Get Color', which is to be expected in the summer.
Health play Glasgow Stereo on Sun Apr 19th.