Concert Review: Holy Fuck, Sept 29, Phoenix Theatre

Toronto – Holy Fuck is not your typical electronic band. Unlike the plethora of digital ensembles equipped with laptops and pre-programmed backing tracks, Holy Fuck set themselves apart by using a 35mm film synchronizer and toy keyboards to produce their analog noises.

Say what you want about bands with expletives in their name: they’re all about shock, they won’t be able to reach the mainstream, or they’re just offensive. Holy Fuck is the perfect name for this band. While watching the show I kept thinking:

“Holy fuck, there are reels of film flying out of that keyboard contraption!”

“Holy fuck they don’t have a laptop!”

“Holy fuck are they using a toy gun to make that noise?”

Yes, it’s that kind of show and if you’re a fan of their albums then you must see them live. Their act on stage looks fantastically precise and intricate while the sound they produce is so raw, experimental, and psychedelic.

The set featured songs from their junior album Latin. Infectious Latin America grabbed the loyal audience as Red Lights, Stilettos and my new favourite Stay Lit made them say holy fuck again. A lot of their songs sound like they could be the soundtrack for a chase scene in an action movie, very fast-paced rhythms with driving beats. To me their music resembles a mix of Ratatat (Stay Lit sounds like it could be one of their songs) and Caribou (both having a very layered, original sound).

Holy Fuck was the brainchild of obscure sound machine creator Brian Borcherdt. Alongside Brian is keyboardist Graham Walsh, Drummer Matt Shultz and Bassist Matt Mcquaid. The combination of conventional instruments with layers of non-instrumental noises creates music that sounds bigger than the quartette, an electronic orchestra if you will.

The only disappointment at this show was that it was only about half full. I suppose electronic music doesn’t appeal to everyone and that Holy Fuck pales in comparison to Justin Bieber. Regardless, I would recommend seeing this band live before listening to the album and I’ll leave you with a cool mini documentary that I came across by City Sonic.

Holy Fuck – Stay Lit by alexman9

Posted on by sarahw in Concerts, Everything