Let the bombs explode
Let the light go dark
Life is good"
Somewhere in the hollow depths between Industrial Metal, EBM and pure Noise Rock, there's a band who takes it upon themselves to leave listeners as equally unsure of what they're hearing as they are intrigued.
Formed in the mid 2000s in the seedy club scene of Los Angeles, HEALTH (all caps) are a trio (formerly a quartet) who specialize in making loud music that's difficult to describe in terms of genre. Their work exhibits traits of the noise, electronic, punk, synthpop and industrial scenes, but labeling them as just one of the above would be too reductive. It's visceral, loud and room-shaking stuff that's earned them a spot in the pantheon of beloved indie acts.
Their self-titled debut released on a small L.A. based label, Lovepump United, in 2007, with a critically-acclaimed remix album, HEALTH::DISCO releasing the next year. Around the same time, a remix of their song "Crimewave" by indie duo Crystal Castles boosted both bands' profiles.
The band returned with their second album, GET COLOR, in 2009, and followed the template set by their first album cycle with a sequel to the remix album, DISCO2, in 2010. HEALTH's work would eventually catch the eye of Rockstar Games, who would enlist them to create the score for their long-awaited game Max Payne 3, which dropped in 2012. (HEALTH would also make an appearance on the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack with a cover of "High Pressure Days" by the Units.)
HEALTH resurfaced in 2015 with DEATH MAGIC, a slickly produced, sonically diverse followup to GET COLOR released on a new label (Loma Vista Recordings, also home to acts like St. Vincent, Ghost and Marilyn Manson). True to their tradition, DISCO3 and DISCO3+ arrived in 2017 with more remixes and bonus tracks. Founding member Jupiter Keyes left the band during this album cycle, though he's since popped up with production work for Alice Glass (previously the lead vocalist in Crystal Castles).
The band's fourth album, VOL. 4: SLAVES OF FEAR, dropped in February 2019, alongside a set of collaborative extra singles (made with fellow rabble-rousers JPEGMAFIA, Soccer Mommy, Youth Code and Ghostemane, among others) and the soundtrack to GTA Onlines Arena War content update (continuing their long-standing creative partnership with Rockstar). All collaborations were later on re-released with a batch of new ones (featuring artists like The Soft Moon, 100 Gecs and Full of Hell) as DISCO4 :: PART I in late 2020.
- Jake Duszik: lead vocals and guitar (2005-)
- John Famiglietti: bass (2005-)
- Benjamin "BJ" Miller: drums (2005-)
- Jupiter Keyes: guitar and synths (2005-2016)
- HEALTH (also known as YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER) (2007)
- HEALTH::DISCO (remixes of tracks from their self-titled) (2008)
- GET COLOR (2009)
- ::DISCO2 (remixes of tracks from "GET COLOR") (2010)
- MAX PAYNE 3 OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK (2012)
- DEATH MAGIC (2015)
- DISCO3 and DISCO3+ (remixes of tracks from "DEATH MAGIC") (2017)
- VOL. 4: SLAVES OF FEAR (2019)
- DISCO4 :: PART I (2020)
- Ambiguous Gender: Jake's singing voice isn't quite masculine or feminine, though this is averted with the band's appearances themselves.
- Arc Words: YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Jupiter Keyes.
- Caps Lock: In full effect with just about everything related to them, including their Instagram posts. Note that it's never just "Health," it's "HEALTH."
- Dark Wave: Some of their output during the DEATH MAGIC era began to resemble this, a trend that continued into their releases leading up to and including the title track of SLAVES OF FEAR. The preview single "BODY/PRISON" (featuring Perturbator) is more out-and-out this mixed with synthwave.
- Everything Is an Instrument:
- This approach led to the creation of the Zoothorn, which Jupiter described in an interview once as a fancy name for a microphone hooked up to a guitar amp through some effects pedals. It makes a couple of appearances on their first two albums, with a track on their debut being, appropriately enough, named "ZOOTHORNS."
- The Hedonist: DEATH MAGIC deconstructs and reconstructs this trope throughout the album. While excessive hedonism can and will lead to an early demise, it's better to live life at the fullest than just doing nothing and plantively waiting for the Grim Reaper to claim your life.
- House Music: "FLESH WORLD (UK)" can be considered their take on it, with some of the remixes on their DISCO albums reworking their other songs into it (including the Phantoms remix of "LIFE" and the Boys Noize remix of "STONEFIST" from DISCO3+).
- Idiosyncratic Cover Art: All four of their albums have cover art with distorted, duo-toned geometric patterns (with DEATH MAGIC resembling broken glass, and a skull motif on the cover to SLAVES OF FEAR), as well as a full track listing and the album title in Caps Lock. Three of them exclusively use Arial as their typeface of choice (and, remarkably, make it look good).
- Incredibly Long Note: One 30-second segment in "NEW COKE" builds itself around a droning synth noise. It's only punctuated by its appearance in the song's video, which couples it with an even longer slow-motion shot of Jupiter vomiting in a dingy club bathroom.
- Last Note Nightmare:
- "COURTSHIP II" features a variation on this, with the end of Jake's verse being followed up with a screeching distorted note before transitioning into a set of increasingly long droning noises.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to their first two albums, DEATH MAGIC is both more easily understood lyrically (by bringing Jake's vocals into the forefront) and takes a more melodic approach (most notably on the damn-near-synthpop tracks "LIFE" and "L.A. LOOKS").
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: They hover around a hard 6 through solid 7, with occasional bouts into level 8 - mostly in SLAVES OF FEAR. Their softest song is "LIFE", which tops out at a 5, while their hardest, "FULL OF HEALTH" (their collaboration with Full of Hell), tops out at a 9.
- New Sound Album: While it doesn't completely stray from the template set by the first two albums, DEATH MAGIC still qualifies as one of these through its flirtation with synthpop and the overall level of polish compared to its predecessors. SLAVES OF FEAR continues the trend, featuring a sound that's closer to full-blown Industrial Metal than noise rock.
- Remix Album: A long-standing tradition of theirs.
- HEALTH::DISCO reworks tracks from their self-titled debut.
- DISCO2 remixes tracks from GET COLOR.
- DISCO3 and DISCO3+ both feature reworked tracks from DEATH MAGIC, with the former also receiving its own set of original bonus tracks peppered in (including "CRUSHER," previously released as part of the 2016 Adult Swim Singles Program).
- Self-Titled Album: Their first one, released in 2007 (though it has also been retroactively dubbed YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER by some fans).
- Surprisingly Gentle Song:
- "LIFE," while still exhibiting the band's characteristically loud nature, is one of these. According to Jake Duszik, the chorus was actually written after he had a dream where it was sung by one Dolly Parton.
YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER
YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER
YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER