HEALTH: Death Magic

Death Magic

Born out of Los Angeles’ sprawling, sweaty DIY scene, HEALTH broke in 2007 as a noise-rock band brandishing a hearty obsession with dissonant, digital textures and arresting live shows. The quartet’s 2007 debut perfectly captured an anything-goes ethos. Eight years and one album later, the band returns with its third album, Death Magic. This time, HEALTH lives up to its expected aural assault and agility, but the album is rife with glossy, Depeche Mode-lite anthems that lack the immediate physicality of earlier efforts. Produced by the Haxan Cloak, Death Magic provides a number of wistful but party-ready tracks (“Life,” “Courtship II”) and abrasively meditative tunes (“New Coke,” “Stonefist”), but offers little to further those once exciting ideas proposed by a band full of potential. ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆