This album possess a rather dubious distinction when compared to other artists in the history of "I Bought This on Amazon for Less Than a Pack of Cigarettes". I've seen them live on two separate occasions, so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for. To boot, I also already owned HEALTH/DISCO, which is like a remix record of all the songs on this album. Enough wasting time, though. There hasn't been a post like this in awhile, and I don't want to mess it up.
HEALTH may not be for everybody. I don't mean that in some sort of elitist, douche bag way or anything like that. This band is more than just loud, they're noisy. They make noise, and while there are fleeting moments when it seems to be too noisy and you start to think that human ears are not meant to hear such things it is nullified by the overwhelming awesomeness. The first time I heard HEALTH was when Gary and I were in Chicago, and I feel like we kind of stumbled into that one. Not stumbled like we were drunk, but rather we kind of just wandered in not knowing what was in store. And then there was this heavy tribal drumming, and the guitars sounded like they were being choked out for information. A very tall asian man seemed to take up the whole stage, but in fact there were three other dudes with him. There had to be because one man alone could never create the bevy of bizarre sounds that streamed out of the speakers on that July day. As luck would have it, Gary and I were in a very agreeable mood at the time and we didn't really feel like moving anywhere else and we had full beers although we weren't drunk yet and we had a pretty good spot and after we considered all factors we decided to stay and see HEALTH.
I had to stop that last paragraph because I felt like it was getting to a point where my next move would be telling the tale of the time we went to Chicago, and then I would be sharing all of the meaningful details and juicy tidbits and I just don't think that anyone wants to hear about that. Back to the album.
This record is short, and couldn't be longer than thirty five minutes. It flies by, almost like it's one jam. But it's not a jam. There are these haunting vocals, and you hear some synth-like creatures in the background, and they're the kind you hear in dance songs, but this is clearly not a dance song. It's not a jam, and it's not a dance. My hazy vision and skewed thinking tells me that this is what reality is supposed to sound like. The real world isn't all pleasant and ideal. At times, it kind of sucks. (Writer's Note: At no times does this album kind of suck.) Generally speaking, people ignore this fact. They block it out by dancing, or by spacing out to a crunchy jam. This isn't a condemnation, but in the larger scope of things it's the way things go. It boils down to awareness. How aware you are of the things that are going on around you. Awareness of what's going on around the world. Most importantly, being aware of yourself. I think scholars call it knowledge of self, but I might be wrong. And, I'm not saying that things are bleak all the time or anything like that. There are good times occasionally, but it's not like that all the time. There is a seedy underbelly to everything. It's the monster under the bed. It's there to be considered, but it can also be ignored. (Writer's Note: There's no ignoring this album).
ANYWAY, the point I'm trying to make is that this isn't a conventional record. You can't really space out to it, or do anything else. The only option available is to listen to it. Just sit there and listen from start to finish. That's the other thing. This isn't the kind of album where you can jump around from track to track. There's no hit song. It's a singular entity, almost.
Fact of the matter, it's just something different and it's something I dig.