Local Music Reviews
Health Care = Doll Skin + Drusky + Scratch 21
Like many of you out there, I too dreamed that I would either join or create a band in high school despite my stage fright and fear of others’ opinions—needless to say, it didn’t work out. However, for four Happy Valley students, it did. Etching their name into Utah’s growing music scene, Health Care is chock full of power-metal sounds and lyrics that ring true to each listener. They are loud, proud and don’t give a shit what you think.
The members of Health Care are only in their third year of high school and have masterfully crafted the feelings of teenage angst into a musically genius band. They have no idea what they’re doing or where they’re going sonically, which gives them the perfect edge to be American Fork’s hottest new rock outfit. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what genre Health Care is aiming towards, but perhaps that’s their goal—not to have a specific genre, instead playing whatever makes them happy. Whether that is face-melting guitar riffs, awe-inspiring organ and key solos or supremely flawless drums, whatever it may be, Health Care is here to cure all your ailments.
Judd Whiffen (guitar, keys), Alley Greer (vocals), Kaden Cook (drums) and Jared Walters (bass) all picked up musical instruments at a scarily young age. According to their website, It all started after Cook and Whiffen’s life-long friendship began to outgrow their after-school basement jams that drove Cook’s parents crazy. Since then, they have been working tirelessly and joyously to achieve the success they desire, which has come in the form of a nine-track debut album that focuses mainly on heavy rock anthems with a dash of soothing, acoustic ballads sprinkled in between.
It’s clear to hear Health Care’s ’80s and ’90s-inspired sonic influences throughout their entire album. You hear this most in tracks like “Face Me,” “Isn’t it Beautiful” and “Fortune & Desire” with distinct, power-hungry guitar riffs that mimic classic rock bands like Boston, ACDC and Led Zeppelin with Health Care’s modern twist, mixing in their earnest and truth-bearing lyrics that will tug on even the most jaded heart.
The self-titled album erupts in sound from the very beginning with “Isn’t It Beautiful,” featuring an explosively addicting tune. Cascading guitar riffs immediately catch listeners and leave us begging for more. Greer’s lyrics belt the truths of post-breakup clarity: “You closed the door / And I can’t thank you enough / For putting me through all the rough / If it wasn’t for you / I’d still be in love.” The first three songs follow suit with slightly distorted guitar, sophisticated percussion and transcendent lyrics. That is, until the fourth song “Obsessed.” Treat the fourth song as the storm before the calm. A dirty acoustic riff is followed shortly by nitty-gritty, thumping bass and heart-pounding drums that evolve into a Metalica-sounding interlude with a hint of dense rhythm guitar that 2005 is historically known for, all the while contrasted with Greer’s innocent and serenading vocals.
It probably shouldn’t have to be said, but Health Care is dripping with talent! Seeing that these rebellious youngins already possess a natural ability to serve a tour de force, my excitement for their future is as unbridled as they are. If you are a fan of retro-rock with a deep creative expression, then Health Care is the perfect band for you! –Sage Holt