Watching Wolf Eyes play Clwb Ifor Bach a couple of years ago, I had a weird realisation. For a band playing ostensibly abrasive, difficult music, their attitude and moves – near-synchronised lunges into their equipment, tweaking and triggering more jet engine-volume scree – could have been those of any indie rock, or even techno act. This isn’t a snide criticism, just a pretty laboured observation that harsh noise folded into more ‘accessible’ music can be a mightily giddy thrill when presented just right. Maybe Wolf Eyes weren’t the horse to back for that particular crossover; HEALTH, though, are just the ticket. I first saw them live at Primavera Sound in 2008, where for a mid-bill band on a smallish festival stage the sound was utterly crushing, a surprise punch to the solar plexus; the band were a visceral whirl of hair and dayglo. It’s that volume, their fastidious attention to technical detail and the lack of irritating slacker indifference that makes HEALTH so thrilling to watch.
If their first album sounded like a Liars and Boredoms drum-off punctuated by stabs of electronic noise, occasional smeared MBV vocals and the odd eye-of-the-storm passage of trippy atmospherics or noodly guitar – all GOOD THINGS, of course – HEALTH’s follow-up Get Color seemingly cribbed as much from the interim remix LP, upping the melodies, doubling the electronics and keeping the needles in the red. Expect exquisitely tooled noise, pummelling rhythms and little earworm-like hooks which, actually, might just be tinnitus. Bring those earplugs.
This is a cracking support slot for JC favourites SATURDAY’S KIDS, fresh from our own Action Beat show a few weeks back and (we keep saying it, like over-eager teachers trying to cajole the smart-but-lazy kid, but it’s true) consistently showing promise of fine things to come. Slowed-down tempos, hardcore abrasion and sludgy guitars aplenty; like punk, but more miserable, and enjoyable for it.
See that poster down there? It’s by Adam Chard of Croatoan Design. He did our Action Beat poster, and the current Pagan Wanderer Lu releases. He’s really good. You can buy a luscious A3 print of this poster from http://croatoan.bigcartel.com/ if you’re quick. Go on then!
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HEALTH / Saturday’s Kids
A 14 plus event. Formed in 2005, HEALTH self-recorded their debut album over the course of 9 months at Los Angeles D.I.Y. venue The Smell, birthing an urgent and extraordinary album which seethed with ghostly, epic pop and spurts of chaotic noise. Their shows grew wilder, kids danced & moshed, blogs freaked out, critics raved, and everyone wondered how in God’s name HEALTH was going to follow it up. While the anticipation continued to build, HEALTH released their critically-acclaimed remix record HEALTH//DISCO, toured with the likes of Crystal Castles and Nine Inch Nails, and played over 420 shows! In April of 2009, HEALTH emerged with their second album GET COLOR on CIT YSLANG records. The Single “DIE SLOW” received immediate accolades from Pitchfork & NME, with the effects rippling across their DIE SLOW THROUGH EUROPE tour, resulting in a near-riot in Eastern Europe. The song’s infectious fusion of noise and dance was the most fully-formed and undeniably rad piece of music from HEALTH yet. And it only served to rile up their fans more. In 2010 HEALTH returned to the remix realm with DISCO2. Curated and produced by HEALTH, DISCO2 features the epic noise jams of GET COLOR remixed by electronic luminaries Tobacco, Crystal Castles, Salem, Javelin, and Gold Panda (among others). DISCO2 morphed 2009′s GET COLOR into an electronic masterpiece. Leading off with the killer new HEALTH single “USA BOYS”, mixed by legendary producer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode). On stage it is where it all comes together for HEALTH. They’ve just finished playing a wide variety of Festivals including Primavera Sound, Loolapalooza, Eurockeennes, Roskilde as well as Reading and Leeds.
7:30pm | £8/£10 | buy tickets