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For Your Health - In Spite Of Music Album Reviews

For Your Health - In Spite Of Music Album Reviews
The Columbus quartet approaches hardcore from weird and skronky angles. They tear shit down because they have a specific vision for what they want to see in its place. 

For Your Health have been variously and accurately described as screamo, post-hardcore, and of course, “genre-defying.” But more than any specific sound, the Columbus, Ohio quartet is defined by a gleeful antagonism, and it’s fair to say that the anticipation surrounding In Spite Of is due to For Your Health’s reputation for being equally preening and vicious in all their affairs.
The mere title of “I Slept With Wes Eisold and All I Got Was an Out of Court Settlement” pretty much summarizes For Your Health’s entire M.O.; a mashup of the Cold Cave frontman and a From Under the Cork Tree deep cut and a reference to Eisold suing Fall Out Boy for copyright infringement. In the week or so since the release of In Spite Of, For Your Health have taken aim at the surviving family of Rush Limbaugh, landlords, shoegaze, specific music websites, and also all music critics. Amid these provocations and proclaiming In Spite Of the best album of 2021, Hayden Rodriguez explained “I Slept With Wes Eisold” as a response to “people that talk shit about us while simultaneously doing nothing interesting LOL.” That “LOL” is doing a lot of the work in that sentence, suggesting that talking shit is justifiable if there’s interesting art to back it up.

Take 2019’s Death of Spring split with Shin Guard, a landmark in modern screamo whose reputation has only been burnished by each band’s almost immediate pivot away from screamo; Shin Guard reconfigured their lineup, rechristened themselves Hazing Over, and recently dropped Pestilence, an EP rife with deathcore influence. Meanwhile, For Your Health’s hate5six performance from last November previewed material from In Spite Of and also great showmanship for a relatively unknown screamo band who hadn’t played any shows in over eight months. At one point, drummer Mike Mapes drops a stick and continues playing with his hand. This was a band that had its sights set on much bigger rooms.

This still holds true on In Spite Of, even if they’re still more likely to play Minecraft festivals than clubs for the foreseeable future. There are few moments that could legitimately be considered pop, and I do mean moments—the flashes of mall-punk melody on “Abscess Makes the Heart Grow” and “You’re so United Ninety-Three, We’re so Flight One Eighty” are an illicit thrill, like stumbling upon your still-operational MySpace page that hasn’t been updated since 2006. But In Spite Of tends towards accessibility, a remembrance of a not-too-distant past when skronky, proggy, and altogether weird punk bands like Blood Brothers and At the Drive-In could slide into MTV and Fuse playlists.

Opener “Birthday Candles in the Effigy” introduces For Your Health as a band with a clear post-hardcore heritage and no patience for the elitism of taste. The song at times evokes ...Burn, Piano Island, Burn and/or Take This to Your Grave, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and/or Fear Before the March of Flames’ Art Damage. In For Your Health’s perfect world, these albums were all playing the same game, quasi major-label punk from bands with a distinct fashion sense, proudly pretentious lyrics, and hyper-referential song titles. If you can imagine a disapproving older brother walking in on you while this plays and then immediately walking out, all the better.

For Your Health’s music is all edges: panic chords and fractured time signatures, serrated vocals and poison-pen lyrics. Rodriguez delivers every word with literary gusto, chewing the scenery even as they’re gargling glass: “Latticed bodies bear creeping vines,” “Obsidian eyes lay stoic against construction paper skies,” and on “Everyday at 13:12,” even the curb-stomping of a cop can have a baroque flourish.

For Your Health recognize the impact of brevity in their music; what sounds like the most thrilling shit in the world for 90 seconds loses its impact over the span of 40 minutes. If In Spite Of never stays in the same place for long enough to achieve a true synthesis of their influences, all of their constituent elements cohere like a layered Rice Krispie treat. “Day of the Black Sun” spends nearly two minutes trying to free itself from detuned sludge before it emerges as the dance-punk snot-rocket “Save Your Breath, You’re Gonna Need it to Blow Me Away”; imagine Liars’ debut played in reverse and fast-forwarded to 10x speed. The seamless transitions throughout In Spite Of somehow make it feel shorter than its 17 minutes, particularly as the boundaries between songs start to feel arbitrary.

Even if For Your Health’s online persona yells “we’re not here to make friends,” In Spite Of is intended a triumph for a community they’ve fostered out of mutual respect. The backup vocals from the similarly progressive Hazing Over and SOUL GLO are almost impossible to recognize without the credits, but the solidarity implied by their existence matters just as much. And as with many of the bands cheering them on—Callous Daoboys, Portrayal of Guilt, awakebutstillinbed, Dogleg, to name a few—their catholic approach to all forms of aggro music is oddly utopian. For Your Health are tearing shit down because they have such a clear plan for a world they’d like to built in its place—one without abusers, clout-chasers, dishonest artists, cops (obviously), and most of all, genre.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
For Your Health - In Spite Of Music Album Reviews For Your Health - In Spite Of Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, March 04, 2021 Rating: 5

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