Oh those Canadian bands and their suggestive and profane names getting them into binds. Last year Toronto punk band Fucked Up snagged the prestigious national Polaris Prize and assorted mainstream media outlets got bent out of shape trying to figure out how to report the news (verbally I would go with the diminutive "Effed Up," while F'd Up is simple enough for print), and more recently Vancouver's the New Pornographers found themselves out of a gig because a midwestern institute of higher learning was worried it might be seen as guilty of promoting the activity delineated by the indie pop supergroup's name. (Never mind that where I live a local city-owned venue has had their name on its marquee for over a month without any cause for complaint.)
All of this is old hat to Toronto-based Holy Fuck, which has put up with this sort of nonsense for six years now, shrugging off any sense of controversy and still getting to play All Tomorrow's Parties, Lollapalooza, Osheaga, Coachella, Glastonbury, and even the Montreal Jazz Festival. After all, what's in a name? Especially when your music is instrumental electro rock that combines very real rhythmic tracks with inventive gadget manipulation that works just as well on stage--maybe even better--than it does on record.
On "Red Lights," Holy Fuck plays around with the groove, rather than simply riding it into the ground, and each segment gives your ears something to do while your body surfs its indie funk current. While not quite as cool as Lalo Schiffrin's theme to the film it samples in this promo clip, I suppose they go some way towards making up the difference by substituting Toonces the Driving Cat for Steve McQueen, who would probably just stand at the back of a Holy Fuck show and glower, before grabbing the coat check girl and roaring off into the night in his Shelby Cobra, with nothing left behind but the sight of his red tail lights fading in the distance.
On iTunes: Holy Fuck / "Red Lights"
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.