This is the third album from the beautifully named Holy Fuck and it's an altogether tighter affair than its predecessors and dwarfs them all in terms of size. As the the ambient 4 minutes of 1MD opens the album it looms into view like an advancing apocalyptic, 7 storey doomsday machine. As its debris clears Red Lights booms with colossal rhythm and the pace and magnitude rarely lets up until the dying textures of the brutal closer P.I.G.S. Their combination of synth melodies, crunching rhythm and booming guitars seem to gel more concisely here and as each song serves to build this machine higher and stronger and the even more threatening Latin will leave you wasted and spent in its wake.Read more 3.5 star reviews
With their debut album this South-West London due have lovingly created what sounds like an exploded diagram of an indie-pop record. Each element is laid out infront of you exposing its bare bones and the result is a sparse and at times haunting collection of songs that despite their stark simplicity are utterly compelling from the start. Theirs is a blend of glistening indie pop guitar melodies that flutter with new wave inspired reverberation and a vocal duo that drench the whole thing pure soul.
I must admit I find it hard to get past the Intro that opens this album. As a two minute instrumental it stands alone form the rest of the songs and is two minutes of near perfection with its echoing rhythm ponding in the cavernous space and the delicate melody circling above. But move on we must and as soon as Romy Madley Croft's soft vocals emerge on VCR like wildlife after a storm the spell is cast. Both her and Oliver Sim have the duty of filling in the hollow gaps in this sparse music but with their delicate and hushed tones they only fill it with more emtyness. Their delivery defies their roots and have the awkward softness of Scandinavia, together they make this sound quite unique.
By distancing each musical element from their context and exposing them in virtual isolation their power is all the more potent when they all come together. Seen most notably on Basic Space and Night Time the sense of satisfaction that occurs in you when you've wandered through the lonely musical space only to see it all gently converge with such precision and purpose is what makes this record so special. It's desperately lonely but there's warmth in these voices. They're intimate and close and above all real. Picking through the vulnerable particles of the human relationship the writing is simple and economic echoing the simplicity of the music. XX is an exercise of context, with the music and vocals being presented to us alone and then in unison. By bringing things together on songs like Crystalised or Islands they hold our attention throughout the record, our hearts straining for the next moment of bliss. Thankfully it doesn't have long to wait as these moments are plentiful on an album that simply glows with originality and honesty. This is a magnificent debut and one whose beauty may be set on slow release but pours forth in generous amounts as soon as you let it.Read more 4 star reviews
With the festival calender close to morbid obesity this year, Concrete and Glass looks to be providing a slightly more slimline tonic. Based in and around Shoreditch ("within 9 minutes of Brick Lane"). Mixing music and art, the exhibition end of things has been organised by Flora Fairbairn and Paul Hitchman and includes the likes of Gavin Turk and Gerry Fox.
Tapping into the unique infrastructure of spaces in the east end, the art strand will feature over 30 projects in disused warehouses, outdoor spaces and empty shops in collaboration with curators, artists and galleries. Heart of Glass, a show of new, site-specific work by 25 artists in Shoreditch Town Hall’s basement, is the hub of the arts projects.
Only catch is, the music has yet to be announced - but Eat Your Own Your Own Ears are in charge, who have recently been responsible for the Field Day festival, as well as the recent Summer Sessions, which included the Justice show. Hosts for the music events include Rough Trade East, Young Turks, Drowned In Sound, Fence Collective and Wichita Records amongst others.
Aptly named after what your eardrums will shout after the first play of this infectious debut, Toronto based mega-band Holy Fuck may have just sneaked in at the last minute to claim their place in my top albums of this year. LP is the sound of a techno band practice in a dirty, disused toy shop after a power cut. From start to finish these 9 songs will kidnap your wife and kids and demand you accompany them on their fucked up, full-throttle joy ride if you ever want to see them alive again.
Hailing from a more punk rock background Holy Fuck construct pounding beats topped by crazy, swirling melodies that could be described as dance music if they weren't treated like full on rock songs. Using a whole heap of instruments and objects from battery powered, broken down keyboards to scratched 35 mm film, LP was totally written and recorded live and this method is at the heart of it's appeal. Each song seems to start with no direction only to fuck you up. As you think an end is near you can almost imagine one member signaling to another to go around again and the song takes off in another direction and you're left tied to the bumper of this unsupervised free-for-all.
It seems wrong to pick out individual tracks as this album has been constructed as a whole. As one song fades out another is waiting, impatiently to come on and as the beats are beautifully overlaid over each other the result is a tag-team assault that won't give up. Its pace is the infectious part. I like to think of music as a soundtrack to life but if you had this in your ears it would infect every thing you did. If you jogged to this you'd be at the top of Rocky's steps in no time, even if you set out from Clapham. With this on your headphones your evening walk to the tube would turn into a routine, Bourne style hit (before the amnesia). And if you had it in your car, well God help you and any one on the road. This is the musical equivalent of the opening scene in Beverly Hills Cop. It's an out-of-control juggernaut packed with contraband goods pelting down a suburban high street and your at the back swinging in the wind.