HEALTH - Get Color

Album Review by Ian Crichton | 01 Sep 2009
  • healthgetcolor
Album title: Get Color
Artist: HEALTH
Label: City Slang
Release date: 7 Sep

Upon its release in January last year, the eponymous debut from L.A. noise botherers HEALTH polarised opinion. Those Crystal Castles fans who bought it in the hope of an electro-pop reappropriation of Crimewave were largely united in their discontent - but one man’s ungodly cacophony is another’s divine drone of tribal drumming, incorporeal chanting and wild frequencies.

Get Color’s opening gambit In Heat keeps up that same confrontational spirit, but only for 110 seconds. Once the industrial disco of Die Slow starts to throb, you’ll realise Get Color isn’t paper-thin sloganeering - it’s a declaration of intent. It’s this track’s cohesive colour (with a 'u') that informs the whole record, smuggling pop song conventions underneath caustic hits of static and pounding rhythms.

Although, on the closing In Violet, the listener is let down gently. Sounding like a disembodied voice from Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker, Benjamin hums over a valium-spiked loop until fade-out - a rare moment of pure beauty, like watching space debris burning up on re-entry. Sublime.

Playing Optimo, Glasgow on 4 Oct.