HEALTH, “Death Magic”

DEATH_MAGIC_cover_artHEALTH
Death Magic
LOMA VISTA
7/10

After the release of both of their previous albums, LA noise-rock act HEALTH shared subsequent remix records that tempered their wildly imaginative sonic destruction into more accessible, dance-friendly tunes. Slowly, those pop sensibilities have, in turn, crept more and more into their songwriting process. This synthesis of noise-rock and dance-pop—only hinted at in previous material—has become fully realized in the band’s third LP, Death Magic.

With thumping, clubby dance beats, catchy chord structures, and singer Jake Duzsik’s haunting (but surprisingly radio-friendly) melodies high in the mix (like on the excellent “Stonefist” and “Flesh World (UK)”), Death Magic is far and away the group’s most accessible offering. Their foray into pop is not without its weaknesses, however, as in the saccharine, toothless “Life” and the meandering “Hurt Yourself.” Despite a couple of misses, HEALTH have made a great electro-pop record, and their signature blasts of noise and feedback lend it a fresh and acerbic edge.

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