Sometimes there are bands that have names that properly serve their identities. Cannibal Corpse? Yeah, I know what I’m getting into. Nickelback? I knew what they sounded like before I ever even heard that horrible drivel on the radio. Korn? Limp Bizkit? Intentional misspellings are ALWAYS a dead giveaway that the band sucks. Sonic Youth and Throbbing Gristle are both perfect for their respective music.
Then there are bands that have good names but make terrible music. I want a band named Destroyer to kick my aural ass. Or take Australia’s own, Baseball. If you’re from a country that has nothing to do with the greatest sport on earth, and you name yourself after it, you better make the finest slice of harmony this side of the Eagles. But no, you get yokel on fiddle and sloppy incompetence on guitar and drums.
The third category is for people who make awesome music but have terrible names. What kind of shelf life does a band named Stereolab have? Do I really want to hear what a rapper named Common has to say? Steely Dan was named after a dildo! Holy Fuck fall into this last category. No doubt they’ve offended many parents, religious leaders, and Canadian arts-subsidizing organizations over the years.
Name aside, this band is pretty on-point live. On record they’re a mix of electronic and krautrock, but live they’re a dance machine. Normally I’m pretty opposed to dance music. For one, the mastermind behind such music generally involves some fat 40 year old vocalist living with a bunch of cats who goes by the name of DJ Saucy, and for two, people that listen to dance music often have ecstasy-induced holes in their brain that enable them to wear tight white pants or use bolt-cutters to cut their hair, giving a whole new meaning to “a layered ‘do”. Anyway, Holy Fuck aren’t really an ordinary dance band. They have an insanely tight drummer, letting the drum samples act as enhancements rather than backbones. Their on-stage activity is unrelenting, blowing acts like Kraftwerk out of the water in a live forum. Like a lot of dance artists, they have vocals, but the difference is that Holy Fuck only sort of have vocals, occasionally using a highly affected microphone to either yelp or say thanks. And most importantly, they’re less of a stereotypical dance band than they are an experimental electronic band with lots and lots of drums, thereby making it very beat-oriented. This distinction probably doesn’t make a difference to the girl who decided to pop some E, put on a bowler hat and a half vest, and rave until her teeth hyper-grind through her permanently close-mouthed smirk. But for me, it makes them one of the best live acts I’ve seen this year.