Holy Fuck is Hot Shit

You gotta love Holy Fuck, the critically acclaimed four-piece progressive electronic band from Toronto, Canada. With little hope of ever getting the band’s name in the mainstream media, they’ve focused on what matters most; the music.

We saw Holy Fuck’s improvisational show at the BrooklynVegan showcase in Austin, TX during South by Southwest. When a Midwestern date opened up on their tour schedule, we thought a Madison show would materialize, but alas, Milwaukee got the gig. At the last minute, the Milwaukee show was moved from the cavernous Turner Hall to the more intimate Mad Planet club.

Holy Fuck

If there are any Beatniks left in Milwaukee, they must hang out at Mad Planet. A very cool place, dimly lit, with graffiti art on the walls. It reminded me a lot of the now defunct Café Montmartre in Madison. The stage was in an adjoining room, divided by several arch-like doors that could allow someone strategically placed at the bar to see the show from an angle.

The light early crowd mushroomed to about a hundred as opening act Nice Nice, based out of Portland, performed a scaled-down two piece experimental set that complemented the headliners well.

After refreshing our beverage of choice between sets, Holy Fuck entered from behind the stage and immediately started the evening with “Latin America” off the new album. Holy Fuck’s super charged electronic bombast teases the listener into submission with the live drum and bass accompaniment providing power that many of their contemporaries are missing. The amazing thing is the band pulls off these electronic-sounding effects without the use of laptops or programmed backing tracks. Some of the more unusual instruments and non-instruments used included a 35 mm film synchronizer, toy keyboards and toy phaser guns. Casio is the 5th Beatle of Holy Fuck!

The set continued to showcase material from the new album building an infectious groove that overtook the indie crowd mindset resulting in sporadic dance outbreaks. The latest album “Latin” widens the band’s sound, embellishing the experimental with more melodic tendencies, creating the perfect convergence of electronic avant garde and more palatable pulsating dance beats. 

Holy Fuck proved that you can be low-fi and create sophisticated layered electronic rhythms that engage an audience without laptops or tape loops. If you get a chance, take in these Toronto purveyors of progressive electronica. We’re off to Radio Shack for some Casio products. 

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