Personal experience is often considered the best inspiration for art of all kinds. This is where The Healthy People turned when creating the tracks for their album Insults in Fake Russian. The seven tracks of the album cover the issues in the lives of the band through catchy and energetic melodies. While each song looks at something personal, the band has the ability to turn each issue into something that every listener can relate to.
The Stockholm-based trio is made up of Johan (guitar, vocals), Linn (bass vocals) and The Hjallis (drums). Johan and Linn used to play in a band together, but the project imploded and fortunately resulted in The Healthy People being created. Together with The Hjallis, they are creating energetic songs that hit you upside the head with a wall of sound.
The album starts with ‘Everything I Know’ which has this light start before you are bombarded by the guitars. The melody is heavy and driving as it hits against your ears. While full-on, there is a great flow to the melody that rises and falls to the vocals. The vocals have this great punk vibe to them that lets you get into the lyrics and have you jumping around to the beat.
‘French Five’ has some intense drums before the pulsing guitars get you. There is something funky about the pulsing of the guitars, but this gives way to the energetic vibe of the song. You can’t help but get involved in this song from moving to the beat to singing along to the chorus. Johan and Linn sing parts together which increase your need to sing along with them.
The driving beats are back in ‘I Don’t Know’ as they pulse through your brain. Linn takes point vocally on this song and turns up the energy to 11. Between the banging beats and her vocals, you have no idea where you go as you feel the need to move to the track. There is something infectious about this song that does not let up.
‘Back To Life’ has an overall softer vibe to it compared to the rest of the album. While it is still packed with pumping guitars and crashing drums, there is a melodic vibe going on. This gives you a chance to breathe after the punishing tracks that came before. The softer nature of the track does not mean it is not as catchy or gripping as the others, it just drags you in using a different method.
The next track is ‘The Most Breakable’ and brings back the punishing rhythms. There are these crashing cymbals in the background competing with the punishing guitar to drive you crazy. The chorus has this great melodic feeling to it that soars over you. There is almost something anthemic about this track because you can easily imagine it being played live and everyone singing along.
‘Achtung Maybe’ has a slightly darker tone to the other tracks. The driving pace is different from the other songs making this one really interesting. It is an intriguing combination of punishing punk tones with melodic guitars and dancing drums. The intricate interplay on this song makes it my favourite on the album.
The album ends with ‘Tiny Pieces’ which takes you back to a familiar soundscape. The vocals have a detached feeling to them, almost like they are being sung from a distance. What is interesting about this song is that Johan and Linn sing it all together. This creates a layered vocal texture that strangely does wonders for the melody. This is the longest track on the album, but there is a reason for this. Halfway through there is a treat for the senses as the song completely swings. This is fun and unexpected making the song a real trip.
Each track on Insults in Fake Russian by The Healthy People hits you over the head with a sonic baseball bat. Steeped in punishing guitars, driving drums and vocals that take hold of you and shake you, the album is the ultimate punk-rock experience.