Live Review

It Hugs Back & Holy Fuck, Scala, London

Mind-bogglingly fun.

Holy Fuck

lead us on an impressive journey that makes little sense, but in reality when it sounds this mind-bogglingly fun who really cares about sense? The only care needs to be retained for the senses – three out of five of the buggers – for, much like their Canadian countrymen Caribou, it’s an exploration in sight, sound and feeling not to be shied away from.

They thank It Hugs Back for their tour support on an echo-laden mic, justifiably so, where the warm up have much to offer in the way of grooves so gently ear comforting it seems a shame the summer sun cannot permeate the Scala’s ceiling for them.

A soupy collision of funk and dance causes fractious relations with the floor when Holy Fuck take over their precision in the tempo department exploding into loop back electro vocal and walking bass. The drummer gets to simmer away and the knob twiddling reaches delirious heights for ‘Super Inuit’, just one in a million delights this evening.

A brooding fog forms and the walls and hairs are shook by the stout bass, in some kind of attempt to spontaneously combust for when they let their moodier side take over. Bringing a mouth keyboard into the fold of looping effects colours the room in an eerie wash. Resolutely together, the four guys work in a tight knot of their creation, breathing new life into their set with each nod.

Effortlessly pendulum timed notes wrap the whole instrumental cluster, bringing the dense layers of distorted vocals and SCUM-like drumming towards a criss-crossed synthesiser and buoyant bass. Like a time machine of math rock ready to take off, HF incite some curious crowd bopping and jubilant cheers.

A crackle of their keys goes a little more jazz remix but later a bolder, swaggery juggernaut of turntables and funk drums reveals ‘Royal Gregory’ with the firing engine of adrenaline that goes hand in hand with its insatiable drum flicks from Matt Schultz.

Their encore of ‘Lovely Allen’ appeals to a raft of people with their arms aloft with the repeating riff of keys, even gaining a clap along before the bubble bursts and heights of colourful abandon are scaled by the tinny synth kick. All the while the bassist is murmuring his way through the currents of noise and some kind of destination is reached.

With a duo of bands who can make familiar paths feel newly trodden, sometimes it’s better to let the music manipulation do the talking and see where it can take you.

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