PREMIERE: Health&Beauty Declare the RNC, Power Games “No Scare”
Ryley Walker's Primrose Green band flexes their own muscles.
Health&Beauty was formed by Brian J. Sulpizio in Chicago in the early part of the last decade as a way of channeling his Leonard Cohen–indebted lyrics through a Sonic Youth–indebted sound. Their first record, to quote the band’s press materials, “sucks.”
But Sulpizio soldiered on through several lineup changes, allowing the city’s experimental and jazz scenes to subtly change his sound and eventually putting together a group that would back Ryley Walker on last year’s Primrose Green. Where that album found Sulpizio and Co. running Pentagle-esque folk through jazz vessels, No Scare, Health&Beauty’s forthcoming album on Wichita, reintroduces some of the vigor and noise.
Today, we’re pleased to be premiering the album’s title track, which is built over an interlocking pattern of guitar trickles and flatlining EKG tones. “It’s about the mindset that craves power,” Sulpizio says of the song.
“This is ultimately the same mindset required to participate in contests, which are really unnecessary at this point, at least for 99.9% of us. We still do them to gratify and exorcise this part of ourselves, but the accomplishments are honorary. That is, it is not necessary to fight to survive (which is great; we have the potential to eliminate victimization), but we still structure society in such a way that it seems to be necessary. I think a lot of our anxieties come out of some fundamental understanding that we are forced to play stupid games or die.”
“We just saw the RNC last week and the power craving was strong,” Sulpizio continues.
“What triumphed [in Cleveland] was a dead notion of masculinity that allowed comfortably unionized machine workers to feel like they were more in control of their lives than they were; now they’re dismantling the hard-won safety net like mountain climbers who think they’re ready for the Real Thing. No Scare.”
No Scare track list
1. Back to the Place
3. Asunción & Dayanara
4. No Scare
5. Beyond Beyoncé
6. Im Yr Baby (for Aaron Swartz)
7. Riverside Cemetry
No Scare is out August 5 via Wichita.