Holy Fuck: Mad Planet, 6.2.10

Tue Jun 08 2010

Imagine how many rinky-dink bands nestled in suburbia have named themselves using the fabulous f-word.  Hell, I know of at least a couple bands from the Milwaukee area alone with f-bomb monikers.  So eventually, in a day and age when foul language can’t keep a good band down any more, a Holy Fuck was bound to get national.  Luckily for music lovers everywhere, it was this one.

The only complaint I’ve ever had with Mad Planet is that it’s usually so choked with cigarette smoke you can hardly breathe, but for whatever reason, that wasn’t the case tonight.  The place was far from packed, owing to the rain and Wednesday-ness, I imagine, but for a show that had been moved from Turner Hall, I expected a more sizable crowd.

Those who were there got fairly amped for Nice Nice, though.  The Portland duo has entered the throng of two-dudes-fucking-around bands, and they deserve the growing attention.  The requisite beat and noise loops come with Mark Shirazi’s intense drumming, mechanical precision combined with Keith Moony fills and finesse.  The two men created a glorious din, and although I could’ve handled more of Jason Buehler’s occasional blasts of rich straight guitar riffage, that’s just a yearning for more of a good thing; no actual complaints to register.

I’d been under the delusion that Holy Fuck was electrojam in the Sound Tribe/Future Rock vein, but that is not really the case.  The music is danceable as hell for sure, but there’s only the occasional foray into anything resembling rave beats.  Holy Fuck embraces its organic components, reminiscent of Lake Trout as much as anything in its peak moments.

Coming in green, I also wasn’t expecting so many vocals, but Brian Borcherdt screeched his brains out into the mic, though not necessarily to convey any actual words--just another instrument of frenzied ambience.  His performance energized the proceedings visually as well as sonically, particularly on the few occasions when he picked up a guitar.  It felt as though these instances were real-time evolution of the band’s sound, farther from a strict electronica facsimile towards dark rock.  The resultant energy was ominous and irresistible.

I love a band that is able to save its most potent stuff for the end.  The asshole in me kept noting that this dance party wasn’t inducing any “holy fuck”s, but then the band reeled off a couple of brain-melters to end the set, and saved two more of its best jams for the encore.  It was all so tight and swift, speaking volumes for the improvisation of these musicians; synergistic and economical for maximum impact.  Pretty excited to see what the future holds for these guys.  I get the feeling the journey has just begun.

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