HEALTH

Get Color

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AllMusic Review by

If their first album was an exercise in repetition and abrasiveness, HEALTH took it up a notch for their sophomore album, Get Color. Instead of using a computer interface to record, as they did with their predominantly digital self-titled album, the quartet produced straight onto 2" tape, in hopes of boosting the levels to the red without the interference of digital clipping. Like steroids, this technique of pushing analog to the extreme beefed up their art rock skronk to a hulking mass. As well as being larger, the aspect that separates Get Color from the band's debut of fractured near-instrumentals is that the tracks on board actually feel like fully realized songs, rather than sketched ideas. These songs are a lot more inviting as well. Things are still disjointed and hard to navigate in HEALTH's home world, but now the gnarly setting is beautified by golden androgynous harmonies that envelop everything. When vicious guitar and drum loops are accompanied by smashing, grating bursts that emulate a belt-sander sawing glass or a sledgehammer smashing a vintage keyboard plugged through a Marshall wall, Jacob Duzsik's blanket-soft vocal lines cushion the blows exquisitely. Get Color walks that fine line between pleasure and pain. For every bludgeoning hit, there's relief. After the wonderfully freaky groove of "Die Slow," the electro-clatter bliss of "Before Tigers," and the frightening tribal assault of "Severin," the second half of "We Are Water" and the delicate ballad "In Violet" bring the record down to a soothing hush. For many, HEALTH's noisy tendencies will be a bit much, but those who aren't afraid to dig deeper will be rewarded greatly. (Fashion-conscious L.A. scenesters have no business making music this good.)

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