Monday, April 07, 2008

Quality is a four letter word

If you're forming a band, what do you call yourself? For a start you could follow some of the latest trends in band names. There have been a few recently - mainly animals it seems. We’ve had a few ‘Bears’ and more than a few ‘Wolfs’ in the last few years. But now the word to have in your band name is ruder. Fuck. There are a good few of these outfits around at the moment, but no doubt plenty to come your way soon. I’m featuring some of these here today.


I’ll start off with a band which I should have written about six months ago, because that’s when I received a promo of their debut album, unexcitingly called LP. This wasn’t the reason that the CD lay around in my pile for months unlistened to. In fact, I don’t really know what was, but anyway a couple of weeks ago I put in on, and soon after regretted the six months with no Holy Fuck in my ears. The name’s going to get them nowhere of course, which would be a shame because this Canadian band’s particular take on Krautrock is a particular treat. There’s plenty very pleasing grooves cranked out on analogue synths and an appropriate absence of vocals – the Toronto-based band stick to what they know best, which seems to be making the indie rockers dance. It’s a great album, and given that they make the brave move of starting LP with a live track, I’ve no doubt that they’re a great live band too.

Despite being well behind with the album, this post is oddly timely, because today HF release an EP, which consists mainly of remixes of album stand-out Lovely Allen. So in the spirit of things, as well as a track from LP, here’s one of the mixes, in which No Age subvert the usual convention that remixes should be longer than the original track. In fact they chop more than half the running time off and create something very much in their own image.

Download: Holy Fuck – Royal Gregory
Download: Holy Fuck – Lovely Allen (No Age Remix)

Buy LP and Lovely Allen from Rough Trade or download from emusic.

And before I leave these crazy Canadians totally, they’ve also done a remix of Radiohead’s Nude which no doubt has done the blog rounds, but hey. Nude can’t really be improved, but this is just an interesting alternative.

Download: Radiohead - Nude (Holy Fuck Remix)


Next up is another band who have been making waves lately and who make Holy Fuck sound like a Xenomania-produced pop outfit. They are Benjamin John Power and Andrew Hung who collectively are known as Fuck Buttons. They’ve just released their debut album Street Horrrsing on ATP records, which along with their ear-splitting live shows have had many critics salivating, and rightly so.

Opening track Sweet Love for Planet Earth starts with a gentle melody – a tinkling piano or something, which sounds quite beautiful but soon becomes distant and intangible as it's pushed to the background by pulsating electronic noise and the sound of chaos. This is a band who don’t have much time for the usual crap. Not for them a conventional bass and drums rhythm. In fact, large tracts of their music is beat-free. Instead they sculpt something with electronic noise that is both beautiful and unsettling. This is not an album to chill out to. In fact, I’m not sure what the right occasion would be. But I do know that it’s a bold, brave record which eschews existing conventions of rock and electronic music to create something what will be for most people (unless you’re a Wire subscriber of course) a singularly unique listening experience.

Download: Fuck Buttons – Sweet Love for Planet Earth

Buy Street Horrsing from Rough Trade or download from emusic.



Who’d have thought that it would take a band of pseudonymed oddballs, fronted by a shaven-headed man mountain to turn the cool kids back to hardcore? Actually on second thoughts it’s probably for that very reason they have. Also from Canada, Fucked Up have developed a bit of a ferocious live rep, with said man mountain, aka Pink Eyes aka Father Damian throwing his not too inconsiderable weight around small venues on recent trips to the UK. This review of a London gig on The Wirewool gives a good impression of what it’s like to experience the full sonic and physical assault of these mad (and I use the word carefully) Canadians.

I’ve heard a few tracks of theirs and it seems that they’re putting more than a couple more minutes onto yer typical hardcore-type tunes. I hear talk of prog elements and if you’ve heard their 18-minute epic Year of the Pig, you’ll know what I mean. There’s even a bit of that sort of thing on the album Hidden World, from which I’ve got a some tracks which I like. Maybe not quite enough for me to download the whole thing, but I could be persuaded.

I was shocked to read on the Fucked Up blog Looking for Gold last week that they were changing their name to Fed Up “in order to be able to reach more people with our message”. Then I looked at the date.

Download: Fucked Up – Crusades
Download: Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

Download more Fucked Up stuff at emusic.



That'll do for now. There are loads of other f-word named and related bands I could write about, but in interests of time I'll stop here. I was going to write about London duo The Fucks (above) who have more than a little Shoreditch-style irony contained within the lurid pink and green of their myspace, as well as their music. But the irony also seems to extend to the mp3 downloads from their myspace all being 1kb. Maybe I'm missing something in my technological know-how, but I don't really think you're missing out too much on the music.


4 comments:

jkneale said...

You spotted it too - we've blogged on HF and the Buttons recently. Though we didn't know about Fucked Up and the Fucks. Wouldn't it be great if those two played together? I'd love to see the poster for that.

The Daily Growl said...

Or maybe even all four of them! Like your blog btw...

bothbarson said...

you're very kind. we're not really sure what we're doing...

Adam said...

you should download the whole of Hidden World I find it an absolutely amazing release and you kinda need to dive into the "world" of the album to completely get it. It's very big and it's bigger and better every time