By Carlos Ramirez
HEALTH’s admittedly left-of-center take on indie-rock confounds most listeners when they first come across it. The L.A. band’s intoxicating blend of the discordant and ethereal inspired the L.A. Weekly to say, “HEALTH music can be harsh and grating, of course, but also sensually smooth and sexy and electronic and also metallic.” Bassist John Famiglietti admitted that they didn’t initially start out with such avant-garde intentions, “When we first got together the sound was heavily influenced by The Smiths and Television but that changed quickly.” At this point the band is far-removed from any sound that can be easily categorized and their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album proved that.
“I feel we are evolving and really gaining control of this sound and ideas now,” explains Famiglietti. In the past, HEALTH’s songs were so heavy in atmospherics that the vocals were often buried beneath layers of guitar and heavy percussion but the bassist tells SESAC that things might be different on their upcoming album, “On the new record they are very much in the foreground, but the feel and intent are the same.” Like Abe Vigoda and No Age, HEALTH got their start as part of the community at L.A. punk venue The Smell. The importance of this part of their story is not lost on Famiglietti, “The community associated with that place has been incredibly supportive every step of the way and really gave us the confidence to develop.” With the music press already fawning for their debut and newer remix album, HEALTH has some lofty expectations set on them this year. Something tells us they’ll be OK.