I Prefer The Obscure Remix Blog

Holy Fuck – Live in Whelans


One of the best bands to come out of Canada in recent times, Holy Fuck finally make space in their calendar for a Dublin show. You can catch them in Whelans on April 10th, and Mandela Hall in Belfast on April 9th. It’s worth investing in their albums well before the shows, as you’ll be dazzled and floored by the sheer power and energy of their recordings. Have a listen to some tracks here. I imagine they are one of those ‘you gotta see ’em live’ kind of bands. I reviewed their latest album a few months ago for TD, and here it is again.

Holy Fuck – LP (Young Turks)

With so many bands adding a ! to their name these days, you’d wonder why these guys didn’t seize the chance, they’re well and truly justified in doing so – given their stage name and the quality of their new album, LP. Holy Fuck hail from that current hotbed of talent, Canada. However, they share little with the current crop of Canucks taking over the world of indie music. Relative black sheep of the Toronto independent scene, Holy Fuck have more in common with the Krautrock movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Their lo-fi, experimental approach to composition sets them apart from recent successes such as Arcade Fire, Stars, and Broken Social Scene – although BSS producer Dave Newfeld is responsible for many of their early recordings and some contained here. Holy Fuck’s sound is a clear homage to Komische Music luminaries such as Can, Neu!, and Cluster, but it is cleverly updated and contemporised in a manner similar to bands such as Trans Am and Super Numeri. Opening track Super Inuit is recorded live, capturing the energy, ingenuity, and experimentation of HF, while other tracks such as Frenchy’s and Echo Sam display a competent level of studio trickery and improvisation. With two fulltime members (Graham Walsh and Brian Borcherdt) and a host of collaborators lifted from the Dependent Music collective, Holy Fuck have earned the label, ‘Toronto’s evil supergroup’. Their reputation as an intense, inventive live act has secured them several festival appearances, and rave reviews. HF tend to favour the traditional instrumental approach, forsaking vocals on all but one track. Relentless live drumming, with impeccable precision is cleverly balanced by drum machine explosions, and free-form synthesised workouts. 9 tracks of pure raw energy and dripping emotion come to an abrupt end after only 37 minutes, leaving the listener yearning for more. It’s very rare that a band comes along and improves on a sound that is largely recognised as being perfected more than 30 years ago, but Holy Fuck really have achieved this. It’s high time they added that ! to the end of their name.

Current Mood: Muscle pains! My footballing days are numbered.

Current Listening: Autechre – Quaristice (Warp Records).


February 8, 2008 - Posted by | Holy Fuck


  1. One of the best bands to come out of Canada in recent times?
    I love Holy Fuck just as much as the next pretentious music fan, but let’s not get carried away.
    Bold statement Mr. Obscure.

    Comment by Pedro | February 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. Bah. Humbug. You know when my first gig of 2008 is? March. You know who it’ll be? Eels.
    I know, I know I live in Rome but sheesh, do people not like music here?

    Comment by red | February 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Aw, c’mon Pedro! It’s true and you know it. There’s more to Canada than you know who. I couldn’t possibly say for professional reasons.

    Red – Is Rome really that bad for gigs? Do bands not come there at all? You seem to be able to track down albums no problem, is there not a demand for those same bands to come in and play?

    Comment by i prefer the obscure remix | February 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. Things really are that bad for gigs and for music in general. I can never find anything here- I buy all my stuff online. Zero demand apparently. Things are much better in Milan. Most bands go there and no further…

    Comment by red | February 11, 2008 | Reply

  5. Eeek, I’m so excited about this gig.
    AND CONGRATS on the nomination ya big obscure head ya!
    With our combined blogging power, we’ll surely vanquish nialler9 🙂
    Congratulations though, well deserved.

    Comment by aoifemc | February 11, 2008 | Reply

  6. Red – Ah, that explains it, online rather than trendy indie stores. That’s a shame about Rome. I would’ve thought it was okay for live music and shops. Maybe your next destination will be better?

    Aoife – Thank you! Same to yourself, well done. Yes, lets gang up on Nialler and spread vicious rumours about him to get him expelled from the awards!


    Can’t wait for this gig either!!

    Comment by i prefer the obscure remix | February 11, 2008 | Reply

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