The L.A. industrial-rock band Health’s new album Rat Wars is the most violent yet vulnerable LP of their career. It is somehow fitting that such a brutal collection of songs is at the same time their most comprehensive artistic statement. Meticulously aggressive production detail collides with painfully personal confessions and a strange savage grace is paired with icy gallows humour… surprisingly it’s still fun as hell. Rat Wars joins the lineage of ground-breaking heavy acts like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, which re-drew the borders between metal, electronic and pop music.
It also speaks directly to the band’s young, fervent online subculture. It’s The Downward Spiral for people with at least two monitors and a vitamin D deficiency. Written during the most emotionally trying period of the band’s life, the album builds on their chaotic yet re-invigorating pandemic years.
In that time, Health cut dozens of tracks with heroes and inheritors like Nine Inch Nails, Lamb of God, 100 Gecs, Poppy, and Pertubator on DISCO4. Rat Wars captures all the fury and ambition their LP’s have until now aspired to. It’s their boldest statement on the insanity and the insipidness of contemporary life.