May 6, 2008 - Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, CA
- 1 Jungle
- 2 Latin
- 3 Lovely Allen
- 4 Royal Gregory
It's For You To Say
Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley and Shawn Biggs
Holy Fuck - as an exclamation - is of highest regard. It, in its utterance, is a direct response to something shocking and mind blowing, something that can't be articulated properly without that impulsive remark of off-color vernacular. It's universally accepted as praise, just as the choking sign calls for the Heimlich. Where the name came from is rooted in the band's drinking or smoking lore, no doubt. They must have thought, "What's the first thing someone says when they learn they've hit the jackpot or won the lottery?
What's the first thing someone says after causing a car wreck? What's the first thing someone says when they learn for the first time that they're going to be a mom or a dad? What's the first thing someone says when they've just gotten their doors blown off by a new album or band? What's the first thing anyone says when they see a bear mauling another animal on TV or in real life?" It's a symbolic phrase of ecstasy and horror, complete disbelief and fantasy. Holy Fuck - as a band - takes on a lot of those same characteristics that could lead one to blowing a curse out of their pie hole, all the while shaking their head and smiling brightly. Holy Fuck, the Canadian experimentalists, belong to the smirk. They belong to the part of mankind that always considers choices and options to be the most attractive possibility. They might even set up ramps and try to jump cars on their bikes or schemingly toast ants with magnifying glasses. They subscribe to leisure exploration of sounds and noises and they are all card-carrying members of Tinkerers Anonymous, a group that prides itself in constructive and unending fiddling and enhancement activities that could lead to developments in audio. The band doesn't so much play with sounds as they raid sounds and stretch them to their far reaches, stroking some distorted garnish here and harvesting numerous other anecdotal briefings and turning them into perpetual canvases that get rethought and re-imagined every time they're touched.
Tributaries and tangents are the band's four-lane highways, taking every possible route to a destination and making the combination of those routes sound like a freak show carnival, The Faint if it were more Charlie Chaplin and less gothic, and a glammier version of The Who. It's enough to make you lose your head and just get battered by the relentless approach of taking your temperature, establishing what you've recently been through and what you immediately need, then serving you with a dosage five times the prescribed amount. It's getting a slurpee with enough syrup to kill an elephant, but just the right amount to keep your own self-propulsion managing itself just fine. They will take you to peaks and climaxes that flash red. You can somehow handle all of Holy Fuck's advances and then some. It comes across on the band's latest - LP - as if two pairs of scissors were shadowboxing, then real boxing, then making out and starting from square one again. It comes across as a pinball machine deciding to break out of its wooden and metal box and live out in the real world, communicating as more than just a couple of silver balls, some bumpers, a springed stick, chiming chimes and bright lights. It's like a Daft Punk or Fatboy Slim video coming to life, but doing so with a garage rock band's attitude of putting on a show that shouldn't be forgotten.
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