Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport

Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport

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For all its sonic ferocity, Fuck Buttons’s first album, Street Horsssing, was mostly a broad sampling of good ideas put to bad use, many of those borrowed from other bands, pairing a propensity for overt thieving with an almost-annoying provocative name. Tarot Sport, somewhat surprisingly, is a complete reversal—a more placid, more distinctive album that allows the band to assert a sound of their own.

There are immediate differences from Fuck Buttons’s debut, which, unlike this one, pulsed with a Wolf Eyes-influenced intensity, burying tortured scream effects at the bottom of the mix and toying with violent, lashing fuzz. This kind of posturing nastiness is gone here, replaced with a sound that, while friendlier, never feels like pandering. On that album, the opaque difficulty of a band like Wolf Eyes was toyed at without being fully committed to. Tracks like “Ribs Out,” with its fusing of clip-clop percussion and eerie birdcalls, played like a mashed up mix of Xela and Prurient, displaying a constant push at weirdness that felt borrowed and contrived.

Tarot Sport drops that grim façade, freeing itself from explicit influence. The songs strive for a crystalline brilliance, delicate with some semblance of power, and this smoothness plays less as a consequence of watering down than a more natural exposition of the band’s skills. The songs are more natural, less vicious, and thus easier to enjoy, falling into a far less confrontational brand of noise, short on aural violence and distancing effects. Tarot Sport finds itself in the pop arm of the noise genre, if such a place exists.

“Surf Solar,” which makes a resounding beat of twisted vocal samples that are neither discordant nor grating, creates an ascendant arc over a 10-minute span. “Olympians,” at the same length, is less strident but with an insistent ringing pulse, which barges in at the halfway point and takes over the song. Slightly harsh at first, the album becomes more amiable after a few listens, its strong points subtly revealing themselves. In this way, Tarot Sport makes its mark: easy and challenging at the same time, a mix of harsh and smooth sounds that mirrors the prickly juxtaposition of classic jazz.

Release Date
October 19, 2009
Label
ATP
Buy
Amazon | iTunes