1MM: HEALTH @ the Knitting Factory, 11.7.08

HEALTH pleads its case for its band name to appear in all caps.

By Aaron Richter

My favorite thing about HEALTH is that they’re not ugly. My second favorite thing about HEALTH is that nothing really seems to fit as you might expect it. First you’ve got a burly metalhead drummer brutalizing the demonic rhythmic core for three skinny boys, who flail about with jerky fey poses and unleash industrial guitar that grinds like it might as well be a painfully squealing execution scene itself in the next Saw film. Then dude starts singing (an element executed much better, and with more forceful emotion, live than on the group’s muddled self-titled debut) and it’s as if he’s completely blocked out his bandmates and decided to dump a bucket of steaming angst over everything, nearly bawling his eyes out like a possessed emo frontman who just chomped a few doom pills and is convinced he’s the antichrist (or at least one of his servants). Oh, and there are rimshots.

Click through the jump for more pics from the show.

Coming off a few shows with Nine Inch Nails (once again proving Trent Reznor has impeccable taste), the LA group slaughtered the Knitting Factory stage with charismatic fury that often threatened to tear itself apart but never truly lost its aim thanks to the band members’ quick-draw theatrics and well-rehearsed timing. The triumph here is that they’ve managed to make relatively unapproachable din into something that you might actually want to hang out with, maybe go out on a date with or at least grab a cup of coffee in the afternoon with. (Reznor, obviously, is another champion of this feat.) Thank god for cute boys and the noises they make.

[Flailing occurred a lot.]

[Though sometimes, not so much–like whenever this guy started singing.]

[Rule No. 261 for starting a band: Find a really tall badass Asian dude to dance around onstage.]

[DON’T GO INTO THE LIGHT: This photo was definitely a fuck-up. But it turned out sorta rad, regardless.]