Fuck Buttons : Tarot Sport

Adam Blyweiss

Plenty of post-rock acts approach epic music being informed by particular genres and subgenres that came before. Six Organs of Admittance channel folk, for example; Mogwai suck through the straw of metal and prog, Explosions in the Sky grunge, and Stars of the Lid classical and ambient. The Bristol, England duo Fuck Buttons manage a similar trick on Tarot Sport, but their creation of dance music—or maybe it’s neo-Krautrock—colored by the sensibilities of indie rock seems an achievement akin to Brock Lesnar finding success in ultimate fighting with his pro wrestling background.

The repetitive nature of most electronica means that a star in the field needs to stand out with intriguing sounds and arrangements. Fuck Buttons manage that by default. In 2008 their Street Horrrsing weaved complex figures, the swirling and jarringly juxtaposed loops that first dominated “Sweet Love for Planet Earth” and “Bright Tomorrow” skirting the borders of joy and irritation at once. There’s no way of telling which musical hairs Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power split in the interceding years, but Tarot Sport is somehow that much more enjoyable and listenable. Only on the album’s closing track “Flight of the Feathered Serpent” does any drone start to really encroach on the eardrums, and you’ll tolerate it in exchange for the chunky junglist drumline behind it.

The journey down the tracklist to that point includes a balanced collection of loping beats and deceptively aggressive guitars that at times approaches majesty. “Surf Solar” and “The Lisbon Maru” in particular feature reined-in rhythms somewhere between hip-hop and Brian Eno, the former track adding a cracked vocal sample to the mix. Other tracks are their own kinds of spacey; the momentum of “Olympians” takes off like a rocket halfway through, while at 4 minutes long the ethereal “Phantom Limb” is almost an interlude amid an album of 8-to-10-minute suites.

The screeching and buzzing guitars throughout Tarot Sport may very well signal important “atmospheres” and “emotions” to some observers. On a much more basic level, Fuck Buttons have an album even the most insular of rock geeks can appreciate.

Similar Albums:
Pink Skull – Zeppelin 3
Holy Fuck – LP
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Video: “Surf Solar”

Download at Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

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