BEST NEW TRACK: HEALTH - SLAVES OF FEAR
Health are here to save us all with "Slaves Of Fear," the lead single from their new LP.
Health has been like the negative shadow of growing up millennial since their onset. Their first album, and subsequently remixed dopelganger, is the sound of 1000 basement disco parties, a soundtrack for high-tops spattered in nuclear waste, stunner shades to block out the nuclear blast. It's the soundtrack of snorting too many illicit substances until your paranoia makes you see the triptych face of the Godhead - like Darren Aronofsky's Pi meeting 1999's rave spectacle Go.
Health has always been taking the piss, but you'd have to really squint to see it on their earliest work, which still sounds like DFA-addled disco punk/New Wave worship of that time. Well, the subtle has given way to the explicit with "Slaves Of Fear." The LA quartet has traded the silk for sandpaper, coming out swinging with a shuddering, malevolent, doomy synthpop banger.
HEALTH - SLAVES OF FEAR
"Slaves Of Fear" creeps in with a pensive, hypnotic bassline, like Pink Floyd's "One Of These Days". Instead of ax-wielding mania, however, "Slaves Of Fear" breaks free into a trance hymn to self-liberation. Health seem to be saying to use your fear, to harness it and let it set you free. Rather than blocking it out, pretending it doesn't exist, Health encourage you to focus it into a white-hot flame, to cut the shackles that keep you bound.
We all knew those basement dance orgies would either catapult us into enlightenment or summon the final days. The jury's still out which way things are going to swing. But "Slaves Of Fear" is the perfect technoid soundtrack for digital mystics and New Age warriors. Put on your dancing shoes, sharpen your battle ax, and break free.
Don't get us wrong, however. There's plenty of aggression and menace on "Slaves Of Fear", to be sure, but it's not always twitching EBM aggrotech. The vocals offer an emotional dimension to the machine trance, though, like an Angel breaking from the clouds in the middle of an intense battle. This battle just happens to be some Terminator hellscape instead of a field in France.
"Slaves Of Fear" is the lead single from Health's newest long-player, Slaves Of Fear, which is due out February 8th on Loma Vista Recordings. It's their first full statement since 2015's Death Magic. That album was already pitch black, and things have gotten infinitely worse in the meantime. We Are: The Guard can't wait to hear how they dispel the darkness.
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.