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Fuck Buttons - Horrrsing

  by Chris O'Toole

published: 18 / 3 / 2008

Fuck Buttons - Horrrsing
Label: ATP Recordings
Format: CD


Richly rewarding combination of noise and melody on debut album from tribal-influenced duo, F**k Buttons

This is the music good kids make when they go bad. Quite and effete in the flesh, Fuck Buttons – a Bristol based duo comprised of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power - have a sound which is at once magical and glistening yet thoroughly alienating and antagonistic. They describe themselves as a noise-cum-melody driven outfit, but I would suggest the emphasis is definitely on the former. That is not to say there is much that glitters before the eye here – it is just that it is buried beneath earthquake bass loops and blistering drones. Concealed in the carefully crafted murk, is, however, a selection is twinkling found sounds – played through children’s instruments and toy microphones. These twin tenets of noise and melody combine to embrace, envelop and confront simultaneously – both brutal and beautiful. 'Sweet Love for Planet Earth', the opening track on debut album, 'Street Horrrsing', takes over five minutes to build to a crescendo – circling like a vulture above its prey – before the vocals screech into view. Sounding like the death of a hundred alien races broadcast through timeless space, John Power offers genuine panic in his voice, while a thundering bass hums along in the background. Relentless and charged the track is a welcome break from the usual noise dross. It is controlled and purposeful, deliberately designed rather than repetitive and bludgeoning. This is followed by 'Ribs Out' which takes listeners to the heart of the Amazon jungle. Tribal drums – an overused phrase but appropriate in this case – pound in the background while found sound animal noises reverberate and echo. Again the group claim to aim for monumental progression, to embrace the human spirit and heart, but to achieve this Fuck Buttons appear to have taken a step back from what it is to be human, identifying it from the outside. They are observers of what makes us unique, and it seems they do not like what they have found. Okay, 'Let’s Talk About Magic' swirls like a ceiling fan and even has touches of Whitehouse in the vocal line. Pure hysteria and distortion, uncontrolled vocal fragments leer from the mêlée seemingly questions a listener’s right to exist. Incredible Anger. As a whole the record – which was mastered by Bob Weston of Shellac fame, which adds some star credentials to the unassuming duo’s armoury – can drag a little. If the listener opens their eyes and steps back from the bliss then it is easy to become detached and even bored. But those willing to take the ride will be richly rewarded.

Track Listing:-
1 Sweet Love For Planet Earth
2 Ribs Out
3 Okay, Let's Talk About Magic
4 Race You To The Bedroom / Spirit Rise
5 Bright Tomorrow
6 Colours Move

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live reviews

Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24/10/2008
Fuck Buttons - Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24/10/2008
At the Hammersmith Apollo in London Chris O' Toole finds promising Bristol duo avant garde F*ck Buttons, on a support date to Mogwai, used to playing smaller venues, struggling to translate their sound to a bigger audience
ICA, London, 30/1/2008

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