Fuck Buttons – 'Slow Focus' album review

Creeping dread and aggression darken the Olympic spirit on the duo's best album yet

Fuck Buttons – 'Slow Focus'

 

Most people don’t feel all that strongly about buttons, but Benjamin John Power and Andrew Hung can’t fucking stand them. It’s this sort of characteristic determination and obstinacy that has helped turn their band into the possibly the biggest noise act in history. Don’t believe us? Well, you didn’t hear Merzbow or Whitehouse soundtracking last year's Olympic opening ceremony did you?

New opus ‘Slow Focus’ seems at first to carry on where 2009’s ‘Tarot Sport’ left off. The key ingredients are all here: pulsating and bubbling rivers of audio and expansive textures that predictably explode into the usual, distortion-drenched big moments. But things have gone dark. The triumphant, euphoric spirit of previous work is replaced with creeping dread and a constant sense of aggression. The beats that crept into ‘Tarot Sport’ are given more room to breathe, less obscured by the fuzz, but it just makes everything feel more menacing.

Album highlight ‘The Red Wing’ stands out because it feels a little lighter – a bit more hopeful than the oppressive atmosphere of the rest of the songs. Something may have darkened their Olympic spirit, but that hasn’t stopped Fuck Buttons from making their best album yet.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Watch Fuck Buttons' 'The Red Wing' video

Comments

1 comments
Clint
Clint

I guess I can kind of see where you're coming from with the whole "darker & more aggressive" thing, but can't help but feel that you didn't listen to the entire album...? To say that 'The Red Wing' is a more positive, uplifting tune that stands out in contrast to the whole rest of the album is a bizzare thing to say, since it is much darker and "weirder" that what has to be the ACTUAL standout, blow-your-face-off track, which is the album closer 'Hidden XS'. It's a tremendous, 10-minute opus of ever-growing positive, triumphant vibes that peaks into a massive, explosive orgy of noise and driving energy. It's filled with a hopeful sense of perseverance and triumph, which is a great way for them to close out the album. Also, the 2nd to last track which precedes it, 'Stalkers' ends on a somwhat similar theme and vibe as well, so while I do agree that the album as a whole isn't as 'light' or 'positive' as Tarot Sport, your conclusions about The Red Wing being the lone beacon of light are rather baffling.