June 12th, 2015

Teenage Jesus, take me into your arms and lift me up into the clouds because HEALTH just released another single this week and I haven’t been able to deal.

The track is called “Stonefist,” and it teeters on the edge of abrasiveness and being one of the noise rock band’s most accessible songs ever.  The vocals are crisp and the lyrics relatable, despite being sung over what sounds like two androids going at it in a back alleyway.

“And we both know love’s not in our hearts,” Jake Duzsik laments. It’s a soap opera robot tragedy. Curtains roll up, as one steel cyborg and a sleek chrome Roomba dance in a frenzy, Sia-style. HEALTH’s industrial pop track continues to play as their desperate love story unfolds: Cyborg X945, incapable of love, clings tightly to Roomba #6009368. They argue! They cry! They make passionate love – which is really just #60009368 cleaning the floors around X945’s feet. It’s moving. I’d watch the play.

Interestingly, that robotic cacophony is actually a lot more melodic than most of their older stuff. It’s a surprising new direction for the band, who gained notoriety in the past for the unrelenting brand of noise pop they put out. That being said, it still brings my heart rate up to a fatalistic 270 BPM, so to answer the titular question: no. HEALTH has not gone soft … you can just bop your head to their new sound while your ears bleed now.

Listen to it below and see if you agree/disagree/ agree to disagree.

This second single comes on the heels of HEALTH’s earlier single of “New Coke,” and their debauched video that accompanied it. HEALTH’s new album “Death Magic” will be out August 7. That should be enough time to prep for the aural assault.