Health&Beauty (their spacing) have been around a long, long time (since 2003 in fact) so why are they cutting through now? Well it's perhaps that this version of the band that backed Ryley Walker on his incredible 'Primrose Green'. We know then that they have 'chops'. The music here appears to be jagged indie rock. Let's give 'em a chance eh?
Vinyl LP £16.99 WEBB475LP
LP on Wichita.
- Includes download code
CD £9.99 WEBB475CD
Digipak CD on Wichita.
In this particular incarnation of their usually ramshackle assembly, Health & Beauty served as Ryler Walker’s backing band on his lounging jazz folk opus ‘Primrose Green’. A high career watermark, is being on that smooth, homespun piece of magic, but ‘No Scare’ puts Brian J Sulpizio and his band in the limelight. Their sound is a warbling, heartfelt mess that falls apart and then picks itself back up without a fuss.
The way “Back to the Place” flows into “Wartime” is something of a marvel -- they feel like the same song scattered among the leaves, Sulpizio’s delicate and delicious high vocal disappearing and then coming back, like Perfume Genius if he was looking for his phone. Consider the way this record is arranged, though: it sounds so skeletal, like an abandoned rock opera, and then things kick on for real, with strings and operatic harmonies and big, petrol-fuelled guitar solos. As “Wartime” ascends, I’m reminded of Sufjan on “All Delighted People”, sort of randomly picking and hacking his way through an otherwise meticulously arranged piece of prog rock.
Perhaps it’s false modesty, but these tracks disguise their gorgeously arranged solutions with a total lack of bluster at the beginning: many of these tracks mumble, whisper and trip their way into existence before implementing a lovely array of timbres. The chiming keys of “Asuncion & Dayanara” are a low-key proposition considering the scorched guitar strumming that follows, begging the track to get going. “No Scare” does solitary math rock calculations before becoming a free rock degenerate, occasionally returning to its tightened fretplay. It’s indicative of the record, which stretches the imagination absentmindedly before deciding on total epiphany. Weird music, eh? It’s so good.
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