ALBUM REVIEW: Holy Fuck – Congrats | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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three half

 

Innovative Leisure

Released: 27.05.16

www.holyfuckmusic.com

 

 

 

 

It’s been six years since the last Holy Fuck album – long enough that people assumed the hiatus had become a split – but after a bunch of recent teasers, this month their fourth album finally gets released and it’s pretty damn good.

Holy Fuck were always the most musically interesting band of the vague scene that spawned them, especially live where a kind of ordered chaos made the sight of blokes fiddling with knobs and tape loops strangely compelling, and whilst they’ve claimed this album is a result of a kind of creative and instrumental streamlining, they still sound very much like Holy Fuck.

That there’s nothing here to equal the dizzying euphoria of Lovely Allen, their 2007 breakthrough track, is no surprise – something that magical comes along pretty rarely – but there’s a lot here to enjoy. The lead single Tom Tom has a gnarly, discordant energy and builds to an electro-stomper that sounds equal parts LCD Soundsystem and A.R.E. Weapons (remember them?), while Shivering moves from a chilling Gristle-y intro to something far lovelier and more ecstatic. At times the album does sound a little dated, a little trapped in the punk-funk/DFA Records milieu that created them, and some tracks suffer from a surfeit of ideas to the point that they become unbalanced and lose the potential dancefloor impact they seem to be aiming for. House Of Glass for example veers between some pleasingly abrasive electronics and a rinky-dink keyboard riff that sounds like it bled in from another – inferior – recording (although the next track, Sabbatics, pulls off a similar blend far more successfully).

Ironically for a band whose USP is sonic innovation, Congrats is strongest when it takes a more direct approach, like on the aptly titled Acidic and album closer Crapture which are proper club bangers (in the kind of clubs I wish existed but probably don’t).

 

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