Home > Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Jazz & Avant, Post-rock > REVIEW: Holy Fuck @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 6/6/10)

REVIEW: Holy Fuck @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 6/6/10)

7th Jun 10 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments


“Analog electronica at its finest.”

One of the best bands that you may have never heard of because of a fear of the unknown and/or an aversion to George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words is Toronto’s experimental electro-rock band Holy Fuck.

Starting off more experimental with their self-titled debut in 2005 and moving into a more groove-fueled diet of instrumental rock in 2007, Holy Fuck has been tearing up clubs around Canada, Europe, and the United States for the past few years.  Their records are superb, and their live shows are even better.  This show in Portland was stacked with some other electro-pop favorites…

Portland-based Fake Drugs went on a little after 9pm.  They are made up of a few guys from Starfucker – Keil Corcoran and Shawn Glassford.  Their sound was a nice pop electronic.  Primarily rhythm guitar & live drums with primarily pre-recorded keyboards & loops.  Danceable and fun… not what I expected from Starfucker gents, but a good warm up.

Another Portland band, Nice Nice had a great electro-pop sound.  This two piece band was the primary tour support for Holy Fuck.  Fewer guys on stage compared to Fake Drugs, but it seemed like they had more going on.  The drummer played both live drums and electronic drum pads… there was a nice juxtaposition of both the organic and artificial sounds – usually intertwined with each song.  The singer played keys, electronic drum pads, as well as guitar.  They have a building, electronic-rock sound, much like Holy Fuck… they meshed really well, and I can see why HF brought them along.

On to Holy Fuck

The seemingly scattered performance with keyboards, toy instruments, live drums & bass, 35mm audio strip replay, guitars, and distorted vocals ultimately leads into the music that is undeniably catchy and composed.  Brian Borchedt and Graham Walsh man the up-front melodic and non-melodic drive of the band, and bassist Matt McQuaid and drummer Matt Schulz are an excellent battery to fuel the groove.  They’re out supporting their latest, excellent record, LATIN.  It’s out now on CD, vinyl, and download formats (click picture to the right).  Personally speaking, it’s one of my favorite albums this year so far.

Holy Fuck went on at 11:25 and kicked it right off with the charged “Latin America.”  The band seemed pretty charged up, especially bassist Matt McQ… who really looked to be having a blast.  They plowed through an over hour set, hitting many of their new tunes, with some choice cuts from LP and the new version “Jungles” (on the +Ghost EP, based on the 2005 debut’s “Tonebank Jungle”).

Even if you aren’t a dancin’ fool… you’ll usually be turned into one at a Holy Fuck show.  The very danceable set was met with a severe lack of dancing from the crowd compared to past shows I’ve witnessed.  Perhaps it was a “Portland on a rainy Sunday” thing, because Holy Fuck was deep in the groove but the crowd seemed more concerned with their PBR’s.  Regardless of the “dancin’ deficit,” the crowd definitely showed their appreciation for the mighty HF via hoots & hollers…

Here’s what they played as best I remembered the song names…

Setlist: ~70 mins

  • Latin America
  • Super Inuit
  • Foxy
  • Jungles
  • 1MD / Red Lights
  • Frenchy’s
  • Stay Lit
  • Lovely Allen
  • The Pulse
  • Stilettos
  • Encore: unknown… a really dirty, fuzzed out riff
  • P.I.G.S.

Brilliant show… my favorite was Red Lights, and its deep groove and killer bass.  Jungles and Stay Lit were close behind.  Stay Lit is probably HF’s most mellow song, and it features Brian on guitar instead of the electronics table.  They ended the night with a new song (or at least new to me) featuring a really fuzzy, dirty bass followed by P.I.G.S..

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaWaka/Jawaka

all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Holy Fuck 2010 N.A. Tour Dates (so far)

  • May 28 Le Poisson Rouge New York, New York #
  • May 29 The Middle East Cambridge, Massachusetts #
  • May 30 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania #
  • May 31 Rock N Roll Hotel Washington, Washington DC #
  • Jun 1 Grog Shop Cleveland Heights, Ohio #
  • Jun 3 Turf Club Saint Paul, Minnesota #
  • Jun 6 Mississippi Studios Portland, Oregon #
  • Jun 8 The Independent San Francisco, California #
  • Jun 10 Troubadour Los Angeles, California #
  • Jul 5 Club Soda – Festival International de Jazz de Montreal Montreal, Quebec
  • Jul 9 Molson Amphitheatre Toronto, Ontario ^
  • Jul 30 Sappyfest Sackville, New Brunswick
    # w/ Nice Nice
    ^ w/ Metric and Passion Pit

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