We could argue about it forever: does Health’s transformation from noise to Bring Me The Horizon-approved industrial rock mean they ‘sold out’? Those in the ‘yes’ mob have frequently used the trio’s 2020 collaboration album, Disco4 Part I, as evidence. How else could the band that rose playing LA squats align themselves with mainstream giants like JPEGMafia? Of course, the reasonable answer is “Who cares? It was good.” Disco4 flew above the ocean of otherwise patchy Covid crossovers by tethering its star power with blissful vocals and ominous synths. And, happily, Part II soars just like before.
The cameos are as A-list as last time, including idols of the metal, synthwave and rap worlds. Better still is that each one pulls their weight. So, what results is a romp that transcends genre yet remains perennially gloomy. For metalheads, the temptation to skip to Cold Blood – Health’s riotous wrestle with Lamb Of God – is understandable. The cut’s initially dominated by roaring aggro before singing and robotic clangs seize the latter half. However, none of the 11 other songs here should be overlooked. Trent Reznor co-helms the bleakest of singalongs during Isn’t Everyone, Murder Death Kill is a rap attack as violent as its name and The Body’s screeches turn AD 1000 into a rocketship to Hell. The best, though, is reserved for the closing trilogy: No Escape, Excess and These Days 2021. Each entry is a dark pop masterclass, armed with hooks gigantic enough to catch a great white shark.
Admittedly, this means that Disco4 Part II will only aggravate Health’s already betrayed-feeling detractors. That’s their problem, though; the only thing that the apoplectic are going to achieve is missing out on a smorgasbord of expertly realised team-ups.