Fuck Buttons – ‘Tarot Sport’

October 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: Music Australia Guide #70, October 2009.

Fuck Buttons
Tarot Sport
****1/2
(ATP/Inertia)

When Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power – aka Fuck Buttons – dropped their debut Street Horrrsing in 2007, it was clear that the Bristol noise merchants were occupying a much higher artistic plane than their name suggested. Within days of hitting shelves, the record became an indie and experimental scene hit; its buzz-saw drones, acerbic distortion attacks and skittering electronics plotting a course across blistering noise rock, opaque ambience and some mutant form of indie-dance. From its opening stanza, the 10-minute Surf Solar, the duo’s follow-up proves very different kind of record. Indeed, terms like proximity, distance and scope become useful when discussing Tarot Sport. While less immediately abrasive than its predecessor, this vast, layered work is far more voluminous. Where the guitars and synths that tore through Street Horrrsing resembled a chainsaw at close range, Tarot Sport’s widescreen walls of sound seem more like a distant army of them. Suffice to say, there are several highlights. Rough Steez is a piece of polyrhythmic brilliance – its brutal pulsing drone morphing into clicking, tumbling, tribal dance groove – while the shimmering, minor key melodic structure of The Lisbon Maru is perhaps their most sophisticated, realised moment to date. Olympians and Flight of the Feathered Serpent, meanwhile, make for two of the most outwardly euphoric compositions you’ll hear this year. Indeed, while abrasive, there’s also something wonderfully soft about Tarot Sport. Fuck Buttons have managed to interlock exhilarating noise and pure, melodic beauty. It makes for a complex, immersive and rewarding collection of songs. DAN RULE

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