reviewed by Cissy Suen
It’s as if Holy Fuck wanted to say “hey, we’re back” because that’s exactly what the opening track ‘Chimes Broken’ does. Recorded over three days in studio, this album gives every Holy Fuck fan what they’ve been waiting for since the release of Latin six years ago. It’s hard, it’s heavy, and if you don’t know the band, it’s the perfect introduction to the versatile and experimental electronic tunes that come from lead Brian Borcherdt, keys Graham Walsh, bass Matt “Punchy” McQuaid, and drums Matt Schulz.
The intensity of the drums from the first track switches over to the bass as we enter the second passionate tune ‘Tom Tom’, the single of the album. We follow a young Romanian in the music video as he recounts the demise of his Salvador Dali tainted town. We enter their trance, their world, in ‘Shivering’ which seems to create a dark parallel universe to ‘Lovely Allen’ from the 2007 album LP. Each step you take through the world painted by Holy Fuck resonates as each key is pressed and you encounter a variety of characters: a sudden bass, the eerie synths, the heavenly washed out voice emerging from a distant background. You rush and fall deeper into the realm until you enter ‘Xed Eyes’ which is definitely the grooviest of the album’s pieces. The ghouls from ‘Shivering’ decided to dance, a vision that is beautifully brought to life in the music video by animator Chad VanGaalen.
My favourite track has to be ‘Neon Dad’. There’s something about the rolling synth that pulls you into this stream of reminiscence, that may not necessarily be in your consciousness. The band sends us a friendly reminder of their loved experimentation as we enter ‘The House of Glass’. It’s a beautiful structure of catchy keys and synths, a fragility that is broken by the heavy bass steps. ‘Shimmering’ enticingly takes you into a calm pool of echoes and relaxed strings – that is, until the omnipresent bass throws you into ‘Acidic’, a track that enticingly pulls you back into the intensity of the sound.
A lot of the group’s time off came from the difficulty of returning to Holy Fuck after taking a year off – which became two, and finally six. During this time Borcherdt had released Total Dust as part of his side project, Dusted, with Leon Taheny, a well known local Toronto producer who’s worked with Tokyo Police Club and Fucked Up. The band also wanted to make sure they had all the right pieces before returning to the playing field, namely the playing field of management. They’ve done it right and have come a long way from their 2005 debut self-titled album, keeping their trademark no fucks given play throughout, and resulting in this stunning masterpiece. Congrats, because this album was definitely well worth the wait.
Top Tracks: “Neon Dad”; “Shivering”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent)