Want to know how to get the most out of the new Holy Fuck recording Latin? Crank it up loud. It’s almost impossible to get anything out of it at polite listening levels, but when the music’s turned up loud enough you can here the energy of the music, and the smoky sensuality of it.
When I listen to this album, I can’t help but reminscence about the free show the band played last summer at the outdoor bandshell at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, and how excellent the music sounded cascading out of the bandshell and out towards the lake. Seeing Holy Fuck really is believing, and this record is more effective than the last because it gets closer to that feeling of seeing the band play live. The video for the first single off of Latin, “Latin America” features the band touring, which only reinforces the notion that HF really are a live band.
The band’s history reads like a who’s who list of indie rock. Performances at Coachella, SXSW, Lollapalooza, Pop Montreal and the Montreal Jazz Festival, touring with M.I.A., Do Make Say Think, and Wolf Parade amongst others. The band plays their techno music live, but they don’t play like DJ’s using computers and backtracks to achieve their sound. Instead guitars, bass, drums, and every other imaginable device (think toy laser guns) are used to create this blanket of (mostly) simulated electronic noise.
“1 MD” doesn’t exactly start the album off with a bang (it’s the slowest song on the album and feels like being underwater). The next song plays up the bass, and it gets your upper body moving, and then you’re into the first slow grooving single off of the album “Latin America”. You can hear the band’s Broken Social Scene roots in track “Stay Lit”, which feels more rock than anything else on this sonic journey thus far. “Silva and Grimes” provides a chill break before the electro-punk of “SHT MTN”, and so far the album feels more like pop and than noise. “Stilettos” is disco with a little heavy sounding tribal bass. The last two songs on the album don’t provide much change as they lead us out of the recording, but they do make for some solid grooving.
The verdict? Although nowhere near as offensive to your ears as Prime Minister Stephen Harper would have you believe, the new HF record is definitely not for everyone. The sound is more dance rock than than techno, but I think the album is something existing fans of the Toronto jam band and the Toronto jam band sound will dig. And when you do get around to listening to this record, remember, volume equals pleasure.
© Natascha Malta, Music Vice