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Health: Health

B

Health

Album: Health
Label: Lovepump United

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Spiritual, though not necessarily sonic, descendants of Deerhoof, L.A.'s Health wields pop-propelled jolts and a sense of experimental wonder that isn't afraid to dovetail innocence with menace. It's as tricky as it is rewarding to pick bits of greatness out of the band's self-titled debut; full of rattles of snare and sinister respiration, the drums and vocals make for terra not-so-firma and an atmosphere that's alternately perfumed and poisoned. There's a song called "Triceratops," but the group saves the actual prehistoric squawks for "Zoothorns," while "Crimewave" jabs tribal beats into gulping, galloping noise. But there are moments—as in the alien anthem "Perfect Skin"—where the clenched static opens so gradually, it's far too convenient to overlook the panoramic melody underneath.