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Music Review: Holy F**k – LP

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So we might as well get the band name out there right away. Holy Fuck. They may never play the Super Bowl half time show at the risk of a "band name malfunction," but frankly, I respect their honesty, as they will settle for nothing less than "holy fuck! Holy Fuck is fuckin' awesome!"

Hailing from Canada, Holy Fuck are one of those "electronic music collective" groups that suggests over the top synth noises, drawn-out samples, and lengthy DJ jams, but on LP, Holy Fuck have managed to pull this off without boring the average listener.

LP is a tight collection of their best work yet, and it certainly blows away anything the band did on their self-titled debut. While that album had its moments, it lacked the intricacy and tightness that is so necessary for an electronica album. LP takes the best elements of the growing indie electronica scene (think !!!'s funky beats mixed with LCD Soundsystem's analog bombast) and creates music we haven't heard together like this since The Chemical Brothers released Surrender.

Surprisingly, every song on LP is easy to digest, and each song works as its own mini-microcosm of sound. The band kicks us off with "Super Inuit," a song full of analog delays and bass rhythms on top of fast drum beats. It is the only live song on this album, at least in terms of having an audience and performing on stage. The rest of the album was recorded live in studio, giving its electronica styles even more credibility. When you hear the intricacies of the synthesizers, it's hard to believe that it was recorded so organically. Even most jazz albums aren't recorded live any more, and that's supposed to be a genre where the musician's improvisational skills reign.

The album continues with "Milkshake," a funky dance tune with a catchy bass line holding together the dueling drum work. Although the rhythmic power of "Milkshake" is propped up by the acoustic drumming, the drum machine beats give it an even heavier sound than before. Songs like "Frenchy's" and "The Pulse" also focus on the drums, giving Holy Fuck's sound a fuller dance style than their peers.

Even though LP is almost entirely an album of funky beats and samples, there is something melodic about each song. There are no melodies per se, but LP will have you humming out the tunes in ways you could never do with your average dance album. On "Royal Gregory," for example, Holy Fuck follows a verse-chorus-verse song structure that centers around a singular synthesizer riff. On "Lovely Allen," the band manages to create a love ballad out of a reoccurring synth melody and a lot of background noise, and somehow it works without a single lyric or vocal arrangement.

Other tracks just make excellent dance tunes, forcing the listener to get out of his or her seat and groove. "The Pulse" takes the atmospheric loudness of a techno album and revamps it to fit Holy Fuck's own personal style. "Safari" mixes a hodge podge collection of classic Nintendo sounds and African drum beats to make a hard-hitting dance collection; it's like Beck on steroids.

If there's any complaint about LP, it's the album's last track "Choppers," which doesn't groove like the rest of the album. In fact, I'm glad it's been placed at the very end of the album, because the rest of LP works together well. If anything, "Choppers" would fit in with 2005's self-titled debut, since that album wasn't nearly as tight as LP.

They may not be the best known indie electronica acts out there, and you may not want to talk about them at Grandma's dinner table, but Holy Fuck is a band that may have a lasting impact on the indie scene. Without a doubt, LP is their best album yet, and may become one of the best dance albums of this year.

My rating:

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