With an equal affinity for minimalism, repetition, relentlessness, and abrasive noise, HEALTH's self-titled debut opens with a distant drone that ever so slowly becomes audible, very likely to get the listener to turn up the volume searching for the song, then pummels the unsuspecting over the head with a blunt blast of keys and drums. "Heaven" then drops into a volcano-worshipping tribal groove complete with mondo-distorto guitar and wordless chants that recalls Liars at their most primal. But before a modus operandi can be established, the second song "Girl Attorney" flails about like a rabid Tasmanian devil for the entirety of its 36 seconds of no-wave skronk. Combine the elements of those two openers and you have the third song, "Triceratops," which may be the closest thing to a traditionally formatted song here, with chanted vocals, atonal analog keys, and rudimentary guitar and bass, with a shifting time signature and a coda of layered feedback. The album continues on for a total of 11 songs in 28 minutes combining equal parts Liars' caveman conceptualism, Trans Am's frayed Motorik, and This Heat's noisy-yet-groovin' absurdity, cramming it all into a spazzy SoCal art-punk blender set on frappé. These mostly instrumental (unless you count mumbling, chanting, shouting and screaming) sketches are alternately assaultive and soothing, luring the listener into a hypnotic catatonia then jarring the senses with pulsating blasts of static. It may be some sort of shock therapy disguised as music, but whatever it is, it's captivating.
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AllMusic Review by Brian Way