By: Greg Caruso
Holy Fuck :: 06.06.09 :: The Troubadour :: Los Angeles, CA
Holy Fuck! That's not only a sentiment of astonishment, but also the name of the band that makes me utter those two words about their show at The Troubadour. These Canadian experimentalists have been flying under the radar for years now, and it seems like they're really beginning to pick up steam with not only two stellar albums under their belt but also a jaw-dropping, genre busting live show.
Formed by Brian Borcherdt, formerly of the band By Divine Right, and aided by a rotating crew over the years, including members of Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle, Holy Fuck has established themselves as purveyors of sounds that are entirely unconventional. Borcherdt, along with co-founder/keyboard/effects wiz Graham Walsh, utilizes not only midi controllers but also an arsenal of weaponry like toy guitars and keyboards, a film synchronizer with actual film stock and a wide array of effect pedals. To see them work with all this in front of them is like seeing two kids viciously unwrapping gifts at Christmas, only to acclimate themselves to their spoils and dazzle you to no end.
Borcherdt and Walsh are backed this tour by Matt McQuaid on bass and Matt Schulz on drums, which in turn makes the outfit not totally electronic but a fused funk-electro hybrid. With the two Matt's bringing up the rear, their total sound gyrates into a funky amalgam that had the crowd jumping and melting at the same time. While un-plugging and plugging cables in between songs, it was hard to really understand exactly what Borcherdt and Walsh were going to do next. This is just another facet of the band that adds to their allure. With McQuaid and Schulz's driving beats coupled with the frenetic mixing of sounds, Holy Fuck turned an almost stoic crowd into frothing beasts, hungry for more of what was being dished out.
One testament to the kinetic energy of their live show is the fact that a majority of their LP album was written during spur of the moment recording sessions after shows during their 2006 tour. A handful of these tracks first appeared on their EP, entitled simply Holy Fuck, which came out early in 2007. Throughout these shows and proceeding sessions, the band honed their well-crafted sound into the final LP, which is a singular album that gets better with each spin. Seeing how the band utilizes all of their "instruments" on stage makes one wonder what could possibly be next for these guys. There has been no word about a new album, and as they're booked for the summer, we can only hope they're holding similar after-set sessions as before.
Although the set was quite short (just over an hour), the guys worked at full throttle the entire time. Tracks like "Milkshake," "The Pulse" and the epic "Lovely Allen," all off LP, drew catcalls from believers and newly formed converts alike. Despite not totally selling the old Troubadour out there was the perfect amount of people inside to make Holy Fuck feel right at home. Currently, Holy Fuck have embarked on the festival scene, so be sure to drop by for their set if they come to your town. And no matter what, see them before they start booking larger venues.
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