Holy Fuck

The Marquee, Halifax NS January 19

BY Pras RajagopalanPublished Jan 26, 2008

Since their debut, Holy Fuck were always a band that made dance music for rock fans. After the release of last year’s LP, that feeling still hasn’t changed, but plenty else has. With the new album comes a new band, and while Holy Fuck’s rhythm section has changed numerous times, the band have now found stability with Matt McQuade and Brad Kilpatrick keeping the pace. If this night is anything to go by, Holy Fuck are a more formidable band than they’ve ever been. In the past they sounded just a little awkward live; Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh would be pushing pedals, tweaking knobs and working toys to create dirty psychedelic loops, trills and farts, while Glenn Milchem and Kevin Lynn provided a more rock-oriented rhythm. The revamped version, however, favour a more danceable approach, settling into a groove and pounding away. It’s definitely a more comfortable fit, and the energy both on stage and in the crowd appeared to reflect this. They demonstrated great instincts for picking up on the audience’s mood, and for cashing in on the time-tested dance principles of tension and release. There wasn’t much Holy Fuck did wrong on this night — they shifted gears between restraint and explosiveness when needed and seldom let the energy level drop. They played several new dance-heavy songs with many of them featuring programmed beats. What was most encouraging was that these new songs often sounded better than the ones off LP. They perhaps overstayed their welcome a bit by dragging out the encore more than they needed, but this only briefly took away from what was an enthralling and surprisingly refreshing set. They may still be making dance music for rock fans, but they’re now a hell of a lot better at getting their groove on.

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