After the release of 2010’s Latin, Holy Fuck managed to do the impossible, they disappeared. The Canadian alt-noise/atmospheric band seemed to vanish at a time when the world was being happily bombarded with noise outfits such as HEALTH and Crystal Castles. Six years later they have returned with a strong, relevant release. Two years in the making, Congrats moves on from where the Toronto noise merchants left off; giving us ten tracks with an edge that sees them slot nicely back into the fray of modern day noise.
The first track released by the band, ‘Tom Tom’ is unapologetic bedlam, presented in a hypnotic, repetitive manner with a middle-8 that would sound at home in almost any Stanley Kubrick classic, whereas ‘Xed Eyes’ is Holy Fuck at their finest. The distant echoed vocals and warped synths could just as easily cascade over a packed out tent at a festival as it could deafen a sweaty, grungy club.
Things are taken down a notch with ‘Neon Dad’ providing idyllic chord progression, slick bass grooves and a section that descends into just the right amount of madness before returning to it’s sweet core. ‘Sabbatics’ builds and builds using latin grooves in a great meld of postmodern noise while ‘Acidic’ is aptly named, with raw, harsh synth lines, clipping sub-bass. It is Holy Fuck at their most dangerous and unpolished.
After leaving without a trace in 2010, you would be forgiven for thinking it would be hard for a mostly instrumental noise/rhythm based band to resurface and make waves but Holy Fuck seem to not only have timed their new release perfectly but have also recorded a great album. Congrats is heavy, brutal, accessible and honest. There has been a surge of late in bands/artists that lean more towards the distorted end of the spectrum. As glitches become more popular in culture and art, the rough sounds that come from bands like Holy Fuck are like a representation of the underbelly of our ultra-modern technological world. Irish bands that come to mind are Girl Band, Bitch Falcon, Otherkin and Fangclub and as mentioned above, Holy Fuck have timed their return beautifully. Is 2016 the year that noise came to the fore? Fingers crossed.