Holy Fuck's Noisy Jams Incite a Tuesday Night Frenzy
@ The Independent
June 8, 2010
Better than: The halcyon moment when your ears stop ringing.
Stalking them on UStream for live sound checks and lurking on Chatroulette for chance encounters and album leaks may be what Holy Fuck wants you to do. But despite the Toronto quartet's savvy social media skills, Tuesday is still a hard night to put on a show. However, the crowd last night at the Independent would have you believe that Tuesday might just be the new Thursday.
First, there was that uncanny feeling of a stop at the local bar on a sleepy, lonesome night, with a few solo stragglers swaggering aimlessly about. When opener Nice Nice took the stage, the crowd began to huddle around the stage, drawn like ants to a crumb. Made up of one drummer and one guitarist, Nice Nice walked up to their instruments wordlessly. The boys then began clacking away on a pair of sleigh bells, blowing into a melodica and buzzing about on a kazoo before launching into an aggressive and insistent beat.
Starting off strong with their heavy beats and a persistent guitar riff reminiscent of The Police's "Bring on the Night," Nice Nice ventured into a bit of a psychedelic space jam by their second song. But they commanded the crowd's attention by the end of it with their penchant for ascension. Going into dub beats and strange Minnie Mouse vocals by song three, however, the band lost me with their jungle sticks, rain sounds and primal halts and chirps, sounding slightly New Age-y. Though each song melded into the other fluidly, I felt exhausted by the end of their four-song set, as if taken on a journey through the longest song of my life.
When Holy Fuck took the stage, they started off far away and spacey but didn't tip over into the psychedelic. They stayed focused on their noise, careful not to go off onto tangential drum and bass jams. And speaking of drum and bass, I appreciated their choice of live percussion and bass over machine loops. This added to the impetuous nature of their sound; their voracity felt valid.
As the guitar squealed against the breakneck drumbeats, the two frontmen mirrored each other as they hovered, swayed and bobbed over their soundboards, twisting and tweaking each dial and knob.
Only changing tempo towards the end, the band got speedier before switching to a more melodic, eerie song. Although the tempos felt pretty similar through the entire set, Holy Fuck pulled the whole thing off, switching between funk and noise without being overly abrasive. By the end, they sped it up again and the crowd got really excited, screaming and jumping along with the bands' frantic head-banging.
Body Language, Pro: I appreciated the bassist's aggressive head-banging and the way he aimed the neck of his guitar, even if not purposely, towards thy sky like a rifle.
Body Language, Con: The popple-headed blonde dude smack dab in the middle of the floor and at the lip of the stage were a bouncy distraction in the undulating sea of bobbing heads.
Body Language, If You're Down: The crowd was heavy on the boy side, super drenched in dudeness. This could be a plus for hetero single ladies looking for some bro eye-raping, but I was not so down with the lack of lady representation.
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