Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Take the regular electricity that you feel as if you're familiar with, the stuff you bet on always coming out of those sockets in every wall you see. Don't touch it, just take its concept in-hand and give it a good once over mentally. One of the more important things it can be is reliable - never getting creative or spazzing out. Behaviors like that can get electricity in gobs of trouble. It's those surges and droops that fry computers and television sets, leaving them as worthless boxes of glass, chips and circuits that get sent to the junkyard to rot. Los Angeles' HEALTH is a four-piece that prefers the erratic behaviors of electricity - the wilder and less reliable, the better. The four members like that they do have the power to manipulate it those, as snake charmers would some fizzy cobras. They prefer to control it here and there and then watch as it gets yanked out of their hands like a fire hose getting sent too much pressure, with too few men seeing to the forceful kick that it will produce, making them lose their feet and having to prepare for an unfriendly landing. And really, this is only applicable if you're talking about the run-of-the-mill kind of electricity, but HEALTH doesn't quite do anything that way, tending to gravitate toward the unlawful strips of electricity and its meaningfulness, its pure blister when it's left to being mostly untamed. There are some seriously rabid traits to the electricity that HEALTH plays with, as if they prefer to be shocked by the results that could be friend or foe depending on the time of day. There are knives in the currents that they mess around with. There are porch swings too and wryly romantic takes on something that resembles a mad man's melodicism - coming out in the interludes where it doesn't sound as if melting chainsaws and blenders and serial killers were after us in a tailspin. The fissures and distortions, all of the crackles and the burnouts that the band places in - oddly enough - very strategic places, are wired to be the mood music for the dirtiest and nastiest of house parties, the ones where there's no end for and crazy ravers start cooking omelets at four in the morning in the kitchen of the place, wearing leather coats and standing there as if they were going to fall apart. It's for the house parties that can't help but happen in the most decrepit hovels that suddenly take on paradise-like magic when all of these filthy kids, with their pent-up grievances and hormones start to get moving, synchronizing their grievances and their lust. It's all of that stuff for HEALTH, who play on the riotous nature of their instruments and their inclinations to offer no safe measures, just ones that get them off - those musical lines of quirky recklessness.
HEALTH Official Site