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Health, White Williams

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I took a chance with this show. I was just slightly familiar Health and White Williams and they were the only acts booked for the night. The hosting venue never fails to attract fashion Nazis, and more than a few impatiently waited for the DJs to come on after the live show. Fortunately both bands played excellent sets, with more moments of excellence than a bill twice its size or more.


What little I heard about Health never failed to mention that they sounded like Liars. Wanting to give them a fair chance, I tried to purge myself of pre-conceptions, but their performance only made those comparisons more apt. If Liars even have a typical sound, Health's thudding tom-toms, chanting vocals, buzzing guitars, and abrasive loops were a good approximation of it. With that said, those similarities didn't get in the way of me being entertained. They played with proficiency and obvious passion. If their sound was a cynical attempt to ride on another band's success, I couldn't tell.

The glossy synth pop of White Williams provided well earned relief from Health's spastic rock. I'm not normally one for watching laptop based music live, but Williams was enough of a performer to quiet my skepticism. In person, his songs sounded more arranged, but also more energetic, than on his new album. The clean, precise playing by the guitarist and bassist more than stood in for Williams programmed melodies. His set, more than his record, hooked me into his laid back computer ballads.



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