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Why can’t Holy Fuck draw a bigger crowd in LA?

Holy FuckBy Josh Herwitt //

Holy Fuck with DOOMSQUAD //
Club Bahia – Los Angeles
June 13th, 2016 //

For more than a decade, Holy Fuck have been creating weird, electronically-tinged music with seemingly whatever equipment they can get their hands on.

Whether it has meant using more traditional instruments like guitars, keyboards and drums or more eccentric ones like toy phaser guns and 35 mm film synchronizers, the Toronto outfit, as a result, has built a small, yet loyal following with a sound that few bands were concocting at the time its debut LP came out.

In fact, since forming back in 2004, Holy Fuck have amassed some noteworthy achievements, particularly in their home country. Besides playing close to every major music festival in the world, the Canadian four-piece has gone on tour with female hip-hop recording artist M.I.A. and Montreal indie rockers Wolf Parade while earning major TV placements in AMC’s award-winning series “Breaking Bad” and popular Canadian comedy show “Kenny vs. Spenny”. It’s even worth noting that their second full-length record LP received a nomination at the 2008 Juno Awards for Alternative Album of the Year and was shortlisted for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize.

So, then why when I stepped into Club Bahia, the Latin-turned-hipster nightclub in Echo Park that’s being booked more and more frequently for concerts now, earlier this week, were there less than 200 people waiting to catch Holy Fuck’s 9:30 p.m. set?

Holy Fuck

It very well could have been due to the fact that it was a Monday night, which I’ll admit was a strange choice on the band’s part. At the same time, seeing more than half of the room empty was — for lack of a better term — depressing. “Holy Fuck deserves better than this,” I thought to myself shortly after arriving.

Of course, it’s not that Holy Fuck’s music is bad or unlistenable. Their fourth and newest studio album Congrats actually stands as a solid effort from Brian Borcherdt (keyboards, guitar, effects), Graham Walsh (keyboards, effects), Matt “Punchy” McQuaid (bass, guitar) and Matt Schulz (drums). It won’t end up on many end-of-year lists — if any at all — but it does fit in with the rest of the group’s catalog quite nicely.

And though Holy Fuck recently played just up the road in Silver Lake a little more than three months ago (see more photos from the show here), Congrats still hadn’t been released. But in many ways, the crowd on that night wasn’t all that much bigger than what this past Monday’s show tallied — and let’s not forget to mention that the gig at Los Globos only costed guests $3 thanks to Red Bull’s backing.

In a city like LA where there is no shortage of quality electronic music, it was a shame to see such a sparse and apathetic crowd take in Holy Fuck’s hour-long set at Club Bahia. With the band’s record label Innovative Leisure not far away, you would think there would be a little more local support for Holy Fuck, but after two live performances over the last few months, that’s simply proven to not be the case. For now, it remains to be seen whether LA will ever come around to a band that’s always chosen to go about things a bit differently.

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