Gig Review

Holy Fuck
It Hugs Back
Birmingham, Academy 2
12th May 2009
Holy Fuck                     It Hugs Back      
As always the music landscape is ever evolving, trends emerge and die, and the fat cats at the apex of the money making record industry, are frivolous with exploiting it to its maximum yield to obtain as much gross profit as can be.

The early years of 2000 were the pinnacle of the “jangly guitar”. Everywhere one would go they would be confronted by the sound, whether it be a department store, or to an austere advert trying to sell a simple confectionary delight. This over exposure may even be the cause for shift in musical fads, who knows?

But right now it seems to be time of the electronic musician, everyday more and more acts seem to appears that have seemingly been around for years, even some of the old jangly bands are getting on the bandwagon, with their third efforts, camouflage in the “new sound” of electronica.

So who are tonight’s headliners Holy Fuck? Well they are an electronic bands of sorts, hailing from over the pond, Toronto, Canada to be precise. I say electronic band of “sorts” since what sets the guys apart from their contemporizes is that they try to achieve an electronic sound without the aid of conventional techniques such as looping, splicing, or programming. Their 2nd album has even caught the attention of critics, which earned them a nomination for best alternative album of the year at the prestigious Juno Awards in 2008.

But before this spectacle array of music can unfold tonight, the band it hugs back have assigned to the unpretentious stage. What approaches the stage are four shy fresh faced youths, who have the manifestations of post graduate students. They approach the stage and begin, to play the music what is heard is noisy warm fuzz rock, the crowd appear intrigued to the type of music this morose looking band may play, as the song progresses the singer/guitarist, plays some interesting riffs and hook, at points his guitar work resembling the workings of an early sonic youth.

His hands can be seen clambering up and down the fret board of his trusty work tool, his feet dance with a plethora of effects pedals. The vocals that can be heard are of a delicate nature, perfectly representing the image of the band that has so far been portrayed. The crowds draw, closer for the 2nd effort of the night, which is of an acoustic spectacle, a more mid tempo number is played, but this does not mean simpler, complex guitaring is seen through this piece as well. The night continues in an analogous manner, with many of the crowd appreciative of the Deerhunter resembling music, the music only stops for the band to mention an album release. The band clearly feel the music is the statement rather than any show boating or antics. It hug back have the makings of a good atmospheric warm fuzzy band, as time passes by, one believes that they shall only hone their craft.

As the crowd wait for Holy fuck, the taste of anticipation lingers in the air, the venue an intimate location has an electric atmosphere. The back ground music stops and the lights go down and the cascade of music begins. A sudden forward rush is felt and the fans move forward.

The organic cohesion of drums and bass melded with beeps and bleeps, pulses out like a tapestry of sound, each element clearly audible, the crowd react well to this energy and a response achieved, giving the feel that the venue is in unison with the music. The night continues and fan favourites such as Tone Bank Jungle, The Pulse and Royal Gregory are played. Even though some may criticize the music for being electronic, holy fuck vary up the songs, as their vast equipment allows them to improvise on stage, even chopping and changing the music as they please. Songs such as Safari were privy to this treatment.

At no point does the music sound like a vast block hitting you in the face, rather a rich edifice that one can weave through to hear many intricate sounds that encapsulate. Holy Fuck are a very interesting outfit, and hopefully the future holds allot more for them, since their live shows are certainly an experience that one must enjoy.

Holy Fuck 4.5/5
It hugs Back 3/5

Review By Ashik Pirmohamed

 Holy Fuck

Brian Borcherdt
Graham Walsh
Matt McQuaid
Matt Schulz
Brad Kilpatrick

 It Hugs Back

matthew (guitar, vocals)
jack (organ, vocals)
dimitri (drums)
paul (bass)

 Band Related Links
Holy Fuck Myspace
It Hugs Back Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?