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Holy Fuck – Live in Whelans

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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 | 6 Comments