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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Holy Fuck: Subterranean, Chicag

At some point last night, my sweetie turned to me and said, "It's like they're up there, just ecstatically happy to be doing what they love to do and they can't even believe they're getting PAID to do it!" And that is exactly what going to last night's Holy Fuck show was like. Four guys, jamming on stage, bouncing like little kids on a trampoline and banging on their mom's pots and pans for the simple pleasure of the chaos. Except, in this case, add some incredible musical talent, of course ;) photo credit: neil365

We arrived about halfway through the second supporting band's show. I'm glad we got a chance to hear them, from the local review of their EP I'm not sure I'd want to have heard them.
The previous Poison Arrows EP, Straight Into the Drift, was dissonant avant-rock cloaked in a matte-black mood, simultaneously claustrophobic and desolate. The Casual Wave EP isn’t exactly a happy-go-lucky record, but the band has lightened up a little.
We walked into the Subterranean (one of the nicer, inexpensive venues here in town) to the sound of heavy drumbeats and strong bass work, the guitar riffs were almost a throwback to the classic rock of the 70s, just a small, sideways step from that psychedelic sound we associate with the time period. My itunes slipped onto Whole Lotta Love by accident while listening to this EP and in some odd way it just wasn't that far of a leap. However, vocally, The Poison Arrows are a whole different kind of group. For as retro as their guitar sound is, Justin Sinkovich's vocal style is understated, subdued even, right in step with so many contemporary indie bands. It's almost as if he's imitating the synthesizer featured predominately on the EP tracks. Hearing them live, I found the band to be less synth heavy and solidly guitar driven, but perhaps that was a function of our lateness. In any event, The Poison Arrows are not to be missed, surely a rising star, and an excellent warm up for the main attraction that night.

Trailer Park The Poison Arrows Trailer Park EP
Lockaway The Poison Arrows Straight Into The Drift EP
The Poison Arrows on MySpace
The Poison Arrows website

Holy Fuck came out to much applause, and although I'd heard about their loyal following it was a trip to see them in action. This band has carved the perfect niche out of the indie scene -- part heavy handed guitar and bass, a solid rock underpinning, and part rave, awesome improvised synth and vocal manipulations that you have to move to. The scene was awash with bouncing and head banging and if someone had tried to ride the crowd, I'd have not been surprised. And that sound in between songs? At first I thought it was the music from the club below, then perhaps the elevated subway (I know, it's an oxymoron, but it's what it's called here, get over it, it's the "El"), going past... but no, it was simply the roar of the enthusaistic crowd. In sociological terms, collective efferevescence was everywhere. photo credit: jalapeno

They played for an hour or so, and no, I can't tell you one song except Lovely Allen because I really think they made all the rest up as they went along. Honest. They do that. It's DIY indie style and it's amazing to see. That's why I wanted to go in the first place. There's only so much you can get from playing their CDs loud in your car. It's the kind of experience you need to feel, ... hot, sweaty, pulsing, the bass pounding up through the core of your body, hands swaying in the air, loud annoying woman behind you talking throughout the show (oh wait, that wasn't necessary, was it?), and most of all... your lover's body pressed up agaisnt yours.

I was worried that Meatpocket, aka, the little woman, the wife of mine, would hate it. But the minute they took the stage she was in motion. And a Meatpocket in motion is a thing of beauty. Holy Fuck has impeccable timing, their show ebbs and flows at almost all the right times, rarely do you wish for a creshendo when they're full on engaged in the downside. The whole show seemed to build up to the "hit" Lovely Allen and when it began, the crowd roared CHARGE in one giant gaping voice. They left the stage to a chorus of HOLY SHIT repeated over and over until they returned to perform a calming encore. We left exhilirated and exhausted into a swampy, dank night, -- drenched in sweat and washed by rain on the way home. But not before being sold the new CD, confusingly titled "LP," by the bass player himself! I'd had my eye on him all night, it's always about the bass for me.... And he was delicious looking, indeed. xoxoxo

The Pulse Holy Fuck LP
Tone Bank Jungle
mp3 Holy Fuck SXSW 2008-3-14 - KEXP @ ACL Studio

Holy Fuck on MySpace
Holy Fuck's website, buy directly from them!
photo credit: INDEED

Get To Work (On Me)Post Honeymoon Between The Two. I missed them, but I'm liking the EP quite a lot, good low-fi, post punk goodness.
Post Honeymoon on MySpace

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