Fuck Buttons
Slow Focus


3.5
great

Review

by Polyethylene USER (14 Reviews)
August 4th, 2013 | 11 replies


Release Date: 07/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An impressive jewel that could have used a little more polish.

English two-piece Fuck Buttons have spent the last decade crafting their own assaultive brand of electronica. Drawing influence from Aphex Twin and Mogwai, they snub gloss and perfectionism in favour of songs that are loud, coarse and engulfing. Though performed on an impressive array of electronic instruments (including synthesizers, Casio keyboards and Fisher Price toys), they distort these digital sounds into walls of guitar-like fuzz. Forget nightclubs or neon dancefloors; Fuck Buttons are the sound of a hundred-foot tower of amplifiers.

“Brainfreeze”, the opening track of their third and latest full-length Slow Focus, perfectly illustrates the duo's raw, crushing approach. The song swells in volume and density for just shy of nine minutes, liquefying your brain with monolithic noise until it trickles from your nose. There are traces of fellow sonic annihilators Sunn O))) and Boris to be found in “Brainfreeze”, along with several other songs on Slow Focus.

Though I share Fuck Buttons' love for ear-splitting, face-melting noise, their infatuation comes at a cost. Slow Focus certainly rewards your attention, but for the most part it doesn't demand it. Songs like “Brainfreeze” are so obsessed with being heavy and all-encompassing, they forget to be exciting too. They try to have a sense of escalation to them, but they often begin so inflated and hysterical that there is no real sense of drama.

Unsurprisingly, the two leanest and most focused tracks (“Sentients” and Prince's Prize”) are the most rewarding here. By toning down the hubbub for these two songs, Fuck Buttons let their attention to detail and beat-making abilities really shine. “Sentients” is an industrial anthem hinged on a gritty, Death Grips-like pulse, whilst “Prince's Prize” marries tense keyboard arpeggios to adrenalised synth claps.

Though the final two songs head back into congested territory, “Stalker” and “Hidden XS” both end up justifying their ten-minute durations. Each track aches with a peculiar kind of melancholia, and proves hypnotically repetitive rather than wearyingly so. And although it is suffocated in synth muck, the beat on “Hidden XS” charmingly echoes that of Burial's seminal track “Kindred.”

If Fuck Buttons reigned in their love for cacophony a little bit, and perhaps took the production up a notch (they produced Slow Focus themselves), this album could have easily earned another star. As it stands, Slow Focus is an impressive yet grimy jewel that could have used a little more polish.



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user ratings (109)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Polyethylene
August 4th 2013


3196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol at ***s

Digging: Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

DrGonzo1937
August 4th 2013


6073 Comments


Saw these guys support Mogwai once. Fucking awful band.

Digging: Ilenkus - The Crossing

Polyethylene
August 4th 2013


3196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have only heard this album and as you can tell was fairly impressed

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2013


31401 Comments


Fixed your *** problem

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Polyethylene
August 4th 2013


3196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Dev!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2013


31401 Comments


In future, just do this:

F[size= 2]u[/ size]ck (just without the gaps of course)

DBrown
August 21st 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Currently have it on now, great fun

Polyethylene
September 22nd 2013


3196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Still don't care for the first three tracks but 4-7 are all great

Minomol
December 11th 2013


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Year of the Dog is an insane track.

LilLioness
December 18th 2013


2645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For me, it is 1-5 that are great and the last twenty minutes that lose me. The last two tracks are too long for what they have going on.

jefflebowski
August 26th 2014


8255 Comments


this is underrated as hell, maybe a touch below tarot sport but more varied musically



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