Garrett Kelly


Health Problems are Seattle's newest abrasive noisemakers, making an effortlessly perverse, boundary-pushing clangor. I am still reeling from their set at the Black Lodge weeks ago, which was a barrage of uninhibited punk ferocity unlike anything I've heard in Seattle lately. Vocalist Ian Kurtis Crist channels demonic frontmen like David Yow and Iggy Pop, howling and contorting, climbing on monitors, simulating sexual intercourse with the stage, undressing himself, and pretend-crying in corners. The band's drug-tinged, stumbling abandon is also very tight in the way that a band like the Jesus Lizard balance their intoxicating noise stupor with rhythmic concrete. Incarnated at a punk house in the U-District in March, Health Problems started as Crist, bassist Dan Shaw, and drummer Zachary Grey. At their first practice, they decided they sounded "like beer," using the last two words of the surgeon general warning for their name. Current drummer David Dempsey replaced Grey in August, and after releasing only one split cassette/CD with the band Pores (of which Crist and Dempsey are also members) under their original lineup, the trio plan on recording soon and releasing a full-length in early 2013. Fans of noisy punk in Seattle will just have to roll their tongues back into their mouths and be patient, though, because they're taking a break from live shows to record, so go see them right now (tomorrow, if you're reading this the day it hits the stands!). Also playing this night are Freak Heat Waves, a kraut-garage art-pop band bred out of Victoria's ever-flowering garage scene. Their self-titled debut layers motorik beats with dancey gloom riffs that might even cause a stir from undead Ian Curtis. They are also joined by local drone-pop duo Thousand Statues, which sees Black Hat's Nelson Bean building propulsive tribal beats under Micaela Tobin's dreamy pop vocals. Also be sure to bring your dancing shoes for Slashed Tires' anti-funk, because the freaks are getting wild tonight. Josephine, 9 pm.

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Also recommended:

Sat Dec 15: He Whose Ox Is Gored, Serial Hawk, Princess, Bitches Crystal at Black Lodge, 9 pm.