Holy Fuck: Now Even Better Than Their Name

Categories: SXSW

l_1c94647a212e4d5955177ab1d5b0a764.jpgThursday afternoon belonged to Holy Fuck. Yeah, yeah, indie-rock royalty were busy kissing Lou Reed's ring over at 4th and Brazos and that's all lovely and stuff, but I'm more interested in championing the second best band in the world right this second. (Best? Boredoms. Thanks for asking.)

Holy Fuck at the Emo Annex tent continued their ever-ascending trajectory with another devastating performance of vicious yet transcendent music. Consisting of one (amazingly piquant) drummer, one bassist and two electronics specialists, the Toronto quartet generate one of the most satisfying mind/body highs you can legally experience. With their intergalactic array of analog-synth onomatopoeia, HF's two knob-twiddlers call to mind Silver Apples upgraded to Platinum status. These globular, spacey sounds augment an increasingly tight rhythm section and a more sophisticated melodic sensibility.

This was a more rock-oriented set than I've previously heard from Holy Fuck, but it also contained a song that reminded me of the tough, post-modern dub output of the On-U Sound label and another new number that hinted at what intelligent rave music could be—like if early Chemical Brothers had been staunch Neu! disciples. The canny Canucks ended that track as if all the plugs were being ripped out at once. Perfect.

"Lovely Allen" closed the performance on a sublimely tuneful note, its sweet, see-saw chords proving that Holy Fuck are about much more than propulsion and brain-scrambling interstellar babble (although those would be enough, believe me).

The rest of tonight's agenda looks great, but it's gonna take a lot to surpass Holy Fuck's display this afternoon.

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