Song Reviews


HEALTH Live at SXSW 2008

30 years ago today, Coca Cola launched its ill-fated New Coke. While that was a major fiasco, I sat down to determine if, thirty years later, the newly released song of the same name by LA nosie-rock outfit HEALTH would follow suit.

I had pretty much discounted HEALTH as somewhat of a fad. Their eponymous debut in 2007 was lauded by many, myself included, despite it being a bit brazen and eccentric (and, at times, somewhat unbearable to anyone over 23). And the remixes that followed were, and still are, truly sublime. Their follow-up, Get Color I largely ignored for whatever reason.

Apparently they scripted a soundtrack to a video game somewhere after the sophomore LP as well.

Then, yesterday, the band dropped a new track called “NEW COKE” that grabbed my attention immediately after the first note.

There’s a consistency here that demands your attention. There’s an element of dance, of electro-disco, of those damned music-review-cliche words like epic and anthemic. “NEW COKE” has the ring of greatness to it, much like the band’s “Crimewave” remix by Crystal Castles. In fact, this song surpasses even that pinnacle for a heightened level of greatness. This is no fad.

Check out the video below, unless you’re not partial to vomit, as it definitely plays a part. If vomit is not your cup of tea (see what I did there?), I’ve also included the soundcloud stream. Check out Health’s page to download an MP3 of the track.

Above photo taken by Andy Fenstermaker (your author on this post) at SXSW 2008.

Ultimately, the biggest question I have is this: is it a coincidence that “NEW COKE” was released one day prior to the 30th anniversary of New Coke, or is this all part of HEALTH’S master plan? Maybe I’ll text John from the band and find out. Stay tuned…

UPDATE 4/25/15: John’s response, “Total coincidence. Really weird actually.”

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