Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Noise Pop: Holy Fuck, A Place to Bury Strangers, White Denim, Veil Veil Vanish @ BOTH, 2/29/08

March 2, 2008

It’s been a long time since I had been this excited about seeing a small show of up and coming acts. I’ve been listening to A Place to Bury Strangers incessantly since last October, and was so upset to miss their set in SF at the end of last year. So this set of 4 bands of varying distortion capabilities has been on countdown for me for a couple of months. One chink in the armor for this show was a horrible sexist message I had received from some local DJ who was going to be there, in the guise of some backwards pick up line.

Veil Veil Vanish, from SF, evokes comparisons to The Cure. The dreamy guitar and melodic bass combine with the vocals and drums to create that precious dark pop music that seems harder and harder to find these days. Indie rock is boring. They have a female bassist, which is always a plus for me. The lead singer and the guitarist each played different guitars than I would expect. I wish I was more well versed in guitars, but I would bet that this adds to their surprising sound. I will definitely go see them again….I think they have a lot of promise, whatever that means these days.

White Denim, from my hometown of Austin, TX, was very, very interesting. I had listened to them on MySpace before the show, and wasn’t really digging the music much. They are a bit funky sounding, with bluesy vocals. I was having trouble understanding how they fit with the rest of the lineup. Their performance is somewhere between a jam band and The Flaming Lips. The vocalist exudes that Joe Cocker passion, where his whole body is singing the words rather than just his mouth. The bassist literally looks like he was yanked out of high school. And when I say highschool, I mean Freshman year. Like the first semester. They brought a fun-peppy-possessed energy that was very Austin.

A Place to Bury Strangers, whose name most be accompanies by the phrase ‘the loudest band in New York’ (that’s good PR), literally blew me away. I had high expectations, and they were exceeded. They are purely about the performance. A fully cranked smoke machine and practically nonexistent lighting surely made those in the back of the room question if a band was even on stage. They never said a word, acknowledged the crowd, said who they were…there might have been a thank you wave at the end. For a larger band, this kind of behavior would have pissed me off. But for a fresh young band, it was pure genius. It wasn’t about the antics or frills that more seasoned bands have the license to use, but younger bands try to get away with. It was ‘this is what you are here for, and this is what you are getting’. And it was intense. It was also too short. We got to hear ‘To Fix the Gash in Your Head’, ‘I Know I’ll See You’, and ‘My Weakness’, among 3 or 4 others. It was a bit hard to hear the vocals at times, but that was because of the overwhelming yet welcome screeching and pounding of the instruments. That’s how you know it’s live. Amidst my gushing and being caught up in the set, I managed to catch a bit of video below.

Holy Fuck, from Toronto, finished off the evening. I only made it through about 4 songs, due to a combination of drinking for too many hours and the fact that it could only be downhill after APTBS. They had the cleanest sound of all 4 bands, meaning that they tinkered with the distortion theme of the evening in a different way. It was like a science experiment on stage. There are some similarities to Battles in that it’s very electronic, but the bass and drums still ground it in rock…somehow. I’ll have to catch a full set next time they are in town.

And, I never ran into that awful sexist guy. Phew.

Holy Fuck performance: 7/10
A Place to Bury Strangers performance: 9.25/10
White Denim performance: 7/10
Veil Veil Vanish performance: 8/10
venue (Bottom of the Hill): 8.5/10
crowd/scene: 6.5/10 (they were so docile that I’m not sure many of them knew what they were there for)
value ($10/ticket): 10/10
memorable: 8/10

HRC video w/ Veil Veil Vanish and A Place to Bury Strangers clips:

White Denim video for ‘Let’s Talk About It’

live footage from a fader mag cmj set:

A Place to Bury Strangers video for ‘To Fix the Gash in Your Head’

Holy Fuck live footage of ‘Lovely Allen’


  1. Bummer you didn’t stay for all of Holy Fuck. You missed Tone Bank Jungle (remixed with a different “tone bank”) than their album. These guys just got better the more they played. Lovely Allen was totally a distortion-happy standout.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

A New Level: Metallica, Pantera, and Mammoth VH @ SoFi Stadium Los Angeles, 8/25/23

“Now a new look in my eyes my spirit riseForget the pastPresent tense works and lastsGot shit on, pissed on,…

September 4, 2023

Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop & The Losers with Grace McKagan @ The Pearl Las Vegas, 4/29/23

“Gimme danger, little strangerAnd I feel with you at easeGimme danger, little strangerAnd I’ll feel your disease There’s nothing in…

May 29, 2023

Kill or Become: Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, Immolation, Black Anvil at House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay 11/25/22

“Living out the days and nights in absolute fearNever knowing when and where thethreat of the undead draws nearThoughts of…

December 3, 2022

Looks That Kill: Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, & Joan Jett & The Blackhearts @ Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, 9/9/22

“Now, listen up She’s a razor sharp If she don’t get her way She’ll slice you apart Now she’s a…

September 19, 2022

A Dangerous Meeting: Mercyful Fate, High on Fire, Paradise Lost, Fugitive, Suicidal Tendencies, Bone Thugs -n- Harmony, Frozen Soul, Emperor, Mayhem, Carcass, and Wolves in the Throne Room @ Psycho Las Vegas @ Resort World, 8/19-21/22

“Oh, they should have knownNot to play with the powers of HellSome people have lost their waySome people have lost…

August 30, 2022

Among the Living: Anthrax 40th Anniversary Tour with Black Label Society @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, 7/28/22

“I’m the walking dudeI can see all the worldTwist your minds with fearI’m the man with the powerAmong the living,…

August 19, 2022

Mad World: Tears for Fears, Garbage @ Kia Forum in Los Angeles, 6/4/22

“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…

June 12, 2022

She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult, Des Roc @ House of Blues Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay

“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…

May 27, 2022

Rock You Like A Hurricane: Scorpions, Skid Row @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…

April 15, 2022

Turbo Lover: 50 Years of Heavy Metal with Judas Priest and Queensrÿche @ Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas, 3/13/22

“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…

March 22, 2022