It wouldn’t exactly be incorrect for the harsh critics of Holy Fu
ck to say that the quartet have gotten where they are today in modern electronic music by just throwing crap together and hoping for the best results. In fact, up until now, that’s exactly what they’ve done: past works from the Toronto group fall somewhere in between the reasonably experimental/improvised keyboard effects craft and that of your four-year-old sister’s random electronic secret
dish, a kind of extraordinary creation that points back to the creator’s initially perceived lack of experience and/or skill, but also seemingly contains a clear ringing of potential within its homogeneous tinkering of keyboards and blip-blop soup. A few publications felt comfortable throwing approving yet skeptical remarks of the band – to quote Now Magazine NXNE Picks, “Holy Fuck are purveyors of unintelligent dance music
,” or the questionable advertisement of New-Noise.net, “You will have the contours of your brain worn down by shards of liquid magma noise
” – many going on to sight a striking improvement and growth to be found in the band’s random
dynamics from their 2005 self-titled to what was heard on 2007's LP
ck haven’t really set out to wheel in the skeptics or propose a new idea or aesthetic with their new album Latin
. Instead, the format of their personally cited rehearsal-less early material is condensed and structured here; it’s as if the Toronto gentlemen have placed a leash on their work and have given it the makings of what could be a proper face. A wave of echo and reverb starts things off forebodingly enough on opener “IMD”, but it’s not until the ocean swell of the track builds and breaks into the remaining cuts of the album that we see the Holy Fu
ck that many now know and love. Bassist Matt McQuaid and drummer Matt Schulz are still the primary core of the band, upon which keyboardists/effects Brian Borchedt and Graham Walsh craft and layer reminiscent Nintendo 90s soundtrack recalls, such as those heard on eventh cut “Stilettos”, and glitch keyboard echoing, as found on third and semi-title track cut “Latin America”. The boys make sure to vary their options and utilize everything in their disposal from cut to cut on Latin
, making for a third album that could be likened to a many-headed beast at the end of the day, just as the two Holy Fu
ck albums that came before it.
Though, I should clarify, that’s not to say that Latin
is exactly the same undecided animal that their self-titled and LP
were. Those albums were, in my opinion anyway, messy and unstructured; here, Holy Fu
ck actually sound like they have been rehearing a little, though they would certainly be the last to admit it. The elegance with which “Sila & Grimes” floats through beats and textures that Thom Yorke himself could craft a melancholic hit on bleeds of a growing sense of professionalism in the band. As it turns out, the multifaceted aspect of Latin
is really displayed in just how many different things the band have to offer for us here to take in here, and conversely just how disjointed it can all be when heard altogether straight through. The downtempo start that leads into Shulz's explosion behind the kit in fourth cut “Stay Lit” plays like an unfriendly neighbor to the aforementioned songs “Sila Grimes” and “SHT MTM” that immediately follow it. Strolling along further into the record, you will hear the rolling, locomotive pace of “Stiletto” trip over the needless wondering of the unlucky “Lucky”, and then collect itself in the finale, the aptly titled “P.I.G.S.” - or rather aptly acronymic, I should say. The song repairs the damage done with the few sketchy, little-sister-electronic-dish instances in Latin
that came before it by indulging in the skills of the quartet with a complex, dense layer of spacey vibes and keyboard framing.
ck have improved on a few of the fallings that many felt the band suffered with on past releases. There’s a more coherent feel to what's to be found on Latin
in the Toronto’s loop-less, splice-less material, and it doesn’t really just sound like the band was in the studio for only two days to craft what is heard the album either – as was the case with their debut self-titled. Still, the repairing of error, or rather the structuring of chaos, is not the sole improvement that apparently needs to be done with the group’s sound. Latin
can be a very awkward listen at times, as while the core songs are indeed strong, and even melodic at points, the diversity of the effects, beats, and awkward positioning of the tracks themselves keep things from flowing as smoothly as they could. That's an odd complaint for a band that's known to be as experimental and creative as Holy Fu
ck are, I suppose, but if they are indeed trying to take their music down a new road, as it appear that they are with Latin
, then the band are going to need to learn how to pave things a little smoother next time out. Really, all they need to do is rehearse more.