Toronto electro-rock group Holy Fuck have managed to hone their junk shop aesthetic into a surprisingly coherent form of warped pop music. Following the excellent 2016 full-length Congrats and the more dance-oriented companion EP Bird Brains, the band sharpen their focus even further on 2020's Deleter. Like their previous albums, this one was born from impromptu jams and sketches at rehearsals and soundchecks. At this point in their career, the group's chemistry is so strong that the music seems to naturally flow from them, and they've never sounded this tight before. Having incorporated buried, distorted vocals into their last few releases, here they invite a few guests to give a bit more of a human touch to their machine rhythms. Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor appears on hypnotic opener "Luxe," which was recorded on a rare 1947 Voice-O-Graph at Jack White's Third Man Studio, lending his voice an eerie, scratchy effect. The track itself is a heavy, swirling blend of house and Krautrock influences, setting the tone for the majority of the album. "Deleter" has an infectious new wave/disco rhythm, with the group's typical scattered, wayward vocals joined by Liars founder Angus Andrew's urgent inquiry, "Are you fighting for a cause?" Pond's Nicholas Allbrook jumps in during the neon shimmer of "Free Gloss," which momentarily drifts into a softer breakdown before heading back on track. "Near Mint" is the most straightforward Motorik rhythm the group have ever played, sounding like a slightly hazy variation on something off Harmonia's Deluxe or one of Michael Rother's solo records. The sludgy, drowsy "San Sebastian" is the only slow track on the album, and "Ruby" seems relatively toned down, apart from its ecstatic climaxes. Tipping closer to dance-pop than noise-rock, Deleter is one of Holy Fuck's most finely tuned albums, yet the band sound as spontaneous as ever.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson