Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons

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Slow Focus
(LISTEN to the track “Red Wing”: https://soundcloud.com/alltomorrowsparties/fuck-buttons-the-red-wing)

ATP [All Tomorrows Parties]
July 2013

A decently recent release! Today, we will be delving into an album that has created some polarizing opinions around the blogosphere. The abrasive-but-fun named, Fuck Buttons have dropped upon the world their newest album, Slow Focus; which as many have noted (including the band themselves), as being their darkest sounding album to date. Let us sit down, zone-out and get immersed in the dark corridors of Slow Focus.

 

From Bristol, England, Fuck Buttons have been exploring the sound landscapes with the duo’s brand of drone-y/experimental/electronic music since around 2004. Since their inception, they have released three full-length albums and a few singles to boot. Street Horrrsing was the band’s first album (in fact, my first listen to the band as well). It featured heavily distorted instruments (casio keyboards, fisher-price microphones, etc.), vocals (that sounded like tropical birds), synths and tribal-like drumming. It was something new that brought an almost organic feel to the electric-centric duo.

Their second release, Tarot Sport, saw a bit more electronic/techno influence found throughout the album. Though, from time to time you can hear some of their instrumentation being brought back into some tracks (most notably: “The Lisbon Maru”). Tarot Sport definitely saw an increase in production and overall electronic quality.

That leads us into their latest – Slow Focus.

 

Slow Focus sees the band continually move towards relying more on electronic sounds and departing from their earlier instruments. The production is so much cleaner in comparison to their previous two albums. The distortion found on this album is not as heavy and excessive, as it previous had felt. The distortion found in Slow Focus feels necessary to create this electronic desolate landscape that you wander through from start-to-finish of the album.

As mentioned earlier, this album feels and sounds much darker. The band surrounds the aural backdrop with some of the darkest tones, somber arpeggios, and razor wire cutting synth leads to slice away your soul. Sitting around and feeling absolute despair is bound to happen when you put on Slow Focus. If you embrace the soul-crushing aura that Fuck Buttons have produced, you can find one of the most cathartic experiences of losing your mind and inhibitions to these droning tracks.

The songs murmur on-and-on as if they are drudging you through the murkiest mires for miles, and that’s not a bad thing. You find yourself getting lost in the redundancies, finding yourself in a trance-like state nodding your head harder and faster with each passing minute. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of people find the album so hard to connect with – the pace. Though, the pace of Slow Focus is no different than that of their previous works.

Slow Focus saw a progression with the band’s craft that truly was much needed. Not saying there was anything wrong with their previous works. But the dark, murky, sludgy sounds of Slow Focus were the band’s departure from the norm, a breath of fresh- albeit dark and bitter-air

Fuck Buttons have really set a new standard in dark-experimental-electronic.

If you are looking for an album to send you to dark places that keep your head moving to the beat, grab Slow Focus and prepare to slog your feet to the downtrodden beats.

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