REVIEW: Holy Fuck – Congrats

Canada is pretty good at producing bands who dabble in electronica: Braids, Chromeo, Crystal Castles, Dragonette, Junior Boys, Purity Ring, Majical Cloudz and Holy Fuck, the shock-emoji name they’ve designed for themselves and decided to stick with.

Congrats is record number four, their first since 2010. They’re kept in the black with syncs to various TV spots in shows and commercials, but deserve to be up there with Hot Chip and Chemical Brothers in terms of bands who make consistent, brilliant electronically-minded pop-rock-dance. Canadian synth music, let’s call it.

Holy Fuck have taken inspiration from so many types of music that to label them merely ‘electronica’ is boring. They may as well be called ‘international dance music’, and they seem a whole lot nicer than Diplo, say, who has been pilloried for nicking styles that are not his. Maybe when Canadians do it the world allows them because they can wrestle bears and skate on ice as toddlers.

For instance, Sabbatics has a dancehall rhythm but also screeds of synth. Acidic starts as it means to go on, and incorporates the off-beat ska rhythm. Describing it is useless, because it’s music you have to hear and move to and get lost in, forgetting deadlines and bills and yourself.

Album opener Chimes Broken is a perfect 2am tune, the latter with a melody that recalls Hey Girl Hey Boy. Neon Dad is anchored by a bass riff that would move even the heads of the Easter Island statues. House of Glass weaves another bouncy bass riff – is Paul McCartney giving them tips on how to make the bass the melodic instrument? – with an addictive synth line.

Some of the tracks are symphonic. Rather than ‘breaking down’ in the middle and revving back up, the songs are developed like a classical piece: Shivering is particularly good, setting a mood, dropping it and bringing it back and enveloping your senses fantastically. Essentially, if you liked Lemon Jelly’s stuff a decade ago, you should listen to this. Holy fuck indeed.

Jonny Brick

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Holy Fuck - Congrats
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