I was going to fire off a review of this album deriding its repetitiveness, the hype, the attention seeking name and lots of other things. I hated it initially, being reminded of a fairly monotonous live set at Clwb with a few highlights but no great shakes.

Then yesterday, the Grand Slam happened. Leaving the house to head down to Cardiff for a job, I headed out of the house with my iPod wired up as always, I put on Fuck Buttons and, I’ll tell you the truth, I didn’t switch it off all day.

You can’t appreciate this band live, not properly. Their individual songs don’t stand up to much scrutiny. There is a lot of repetition, samples which get reused throughout the album, some of the songs sound samey. But as music which lifts you out of your shell while you pass the day by on the bus, it works brilliantly. As an effect, as a representation of a mood, it’s spot on. Like Burial described his creations as “music for the night bus”, then Fuck Buttons are very much the, err, day bus accompaniment.

This stuff is too high pitched to be nice night time music, but watching things go past with Street Horrrsing on is like seeing them wrapped in luscious, distorted digital wallpaper. Nasty synth vibrations are moulded and cut into things that remotely sound like beats to give a basis to the tracks, while slight – almost so that you’d barely hear them – keyboard melodies play in the background and progress slowly so that the songs are not literally the same drone every second.

This isn’t pretty music – its quite ugly. Usually avant garde stuff which is more suited to the background will be flowery or bombastic, with pretences to a more orchestral setting. Fuck Buttons don’t do this, but on Okay, Let’s Talk About Magic I’m reminded a bit of Trans Europe Express – and all the images that conjured up of fast trains racing across the continent. It’s like that, its like it needs to get somewhere.

There are downsides. While the distorted vocals work, they are almost the same throughout the album. There are only really 6 songs, despite their length. But for a first album, this is quite special.

Video: Bright Tomorrow
T’internet: Fuck Buttons

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. I wasn’t arsed the first time I put it on but I’ve listened to it 3 times now and it gets better every time.

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