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Holy shit it's Holy Fuck

Holy Fuck / Nice Nice
Mad Planet
Milwaukee, WI
June 2, 2010
Holy Fuck Holy Fuck Holy Fuck

Story and photos by Matt Schwenke

Following the release of their second album, LP, in 2007 and a subsequent tour with M.I.A., the Toronto-based electronica quartet Holy Fuck seemed to be a favorite topic among indie music discussions in the Midwest and much further abroad, but despite the buzz of interest then, the band's first stop in Milwaukee on the heels of releasing their third album, Latin, wasn't nearly as receptive, as low ticket sales prompted a change of venue from the spacious Turner Hall Ballroom to the small club atmosphere of Mad Planet.

Despite the disheartening turnout, keyboard and effect maestros Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh, along with bassist Matt McQuaid and drummer Matt Schulz, still performed with an engrossing and explosive energy that was most dominantly on display during tunes from the second release such as "Milkshake" and "Super Inuit," in which the closest thing to lyrics all night were screamed through heavy effects, and the expansive "Lovely Allen."

Perhaps most visually known, outside of their attention-grabbing name, for Borcherdt's use of a 35 mm film synchronizer or Walsh's assortment of toy keyboards and noise makers, the trademark of Holy Fuck's sound is in the blend of analog and digital and all without the use of laptops and programming. The new material is a testament to their loop-free approach and reaches even more organic electronic textures in a polyphonic display. Notables from the new album included the ultra-funky "Red Lights," the sonic assault of "SHT MTN" and the near-orchestral gem of "Stay Lit."

Perhaps calling it a night a few songs earlier than usual, Holy Fuck still delivered a dynamic and danceable set, and when paired with the Portland-based duo and opening act Nice Nice, whose slightly more austere but no less interesting elctronica was a great fit, this was a show unfortunately far too few Milwaukeeans saw.
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Holy Fuck Holy Fuck
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