Album Reviews

HEALTH: DISCO 2 [Album Review]

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Remix albums are something I don’t often look forward to. They typically are not as innovative or unique as the original works attributed within. There is an exception to this trait, and it can be found in the LA-based noise-rock outfit HEALTH and their DISCO series. The band’s self-titled debut was packed with off-beat, hyped-up noise rock that, as the genre would hint, was often abrasive and eccentric. The first installment of DISCO followed suit, but with electronic beats that took the band from intensity in eclecticism to intensity on the dance floor. Case in point was the stellar remix of “Crimewave” by Crystal Castles. DISCO 2 follows suit, this time pulling off the band’s second album Get Color.

Get Color found the band expanding beyond the suddenness of their debut, which often saw HEALTH incessantly flipping the switch from overwhelmingly loud guitar riffs to near silence. Opener “In Heat” is noise with none of the breaks. Hit track “Die Slow” has a consistency in beat yet maintains the noise descriptor. In this, the band is more dynamic and they are dipping their toes into new avenues that find more harmonizing in vocals, which compound into an eerie mess of greatness. This feature in particular lends itself well to the opportunities presented with DISCO revisted, or DISCO 2.

Equally as unique as the original DISCO, DISCO 2 is dance-floor worthy and the star is again “Die Slow”, here dubbed the “TOBACCO RMX”. You’ll also find substantial collaborations with artists like Small Black, who takes a stab at editing “Severin”, and (again) Crystal Castles on “Eat Flesh”. You’ll also catch works by Javelin and Gold Panda, to name a few. What is perhaps most astonishing is HEALTH’s ability to not only put together an entirely solid noise rock album, but to also consistently follow it up with a remix album that actually tops the original. That’s saying a lot, as my first-hand experience will tell you that HEALTH is a band you absolutely want to see live.

HEALTH: DISCO 2

LOVEPUMP UNITED RECORDS [CD, 2010]

1. USA BOYS
2. BEFORE TIGERS (CFCF RMX)
3. IN HEAT (JAVELIN RMX)
4. DIE SLOW (TOBACCO RMX)
5. SEVERIN (SMALL BLACK RMX)
6. BEFORE TIGERS (GOLD PANDA RMX)
7. EAT FLESH (CRYSTAL CASTLES RMX)
8. IN VIOLET (SALEM RMX)
9. NICE GIRLS (BLONDES RMX)
10. DIE SLOW (PICTUREPLANE RMX)
11. NICE GIRLS (LITTLE LOUD RMX)
12. BEFORE TIGERS (BLINDOLDFREAK RMX)

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