Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing

Fuck Buttons
Street Horrrsing

If you’ve been following the story of Fuck Buttons then you already know that the duo is fast becoming media darlings with the release of Street Horrrsing. Although the album was leaked under a different title for free through the group’s website last year it’s just now making it into stores. Fuck Buttons began as most other noise groups do by testing the limits of how intense it could be with piercing electronic blasts at the beginning of the decade. This was before “mellowing out” and deciding to add melody to the equation. It isn’t exactly a novel idea in the way some others would have you believe. Black Dice had melody on Beaches and Canyons and were far noisier than this record. Street Horrrsing should find an audience with indie rockers too squeamish for the more painful variety of noise like Merzbow, Prurient, and Masonna. In fact, the album bears far more resemblance to groups like Boredoms, Animal Collective or even Dan Deacon’s Wham City pop than any noise group I know.

That’s the only real problem I have with Fuck Buttons. Seeing a group paraded around like geniuses for making a good if repetitive album that in all honesty sounds like so much else before it. The distorted to hell vocals may sound like Prurient but they’re buried in the mix when they’re even present at all. The rest of the time, Street Horrrsing sounds like a nice album Boredoms could have released between Super Ae and Vision Creation Newsun. It’s all gorgeous vistas of guitar wash and keyboards run through enough pedals and processors to make your head spin while being grounded with repetitive percussion. It’s pretty but there really isn’t much substance beyond that. The songs all follow a similar arc as well: start out quiet and slow, build to climax with screechy vocals, beautiful comedown at the end. All of them are over six minutes some stretchingg much farther than that. Add to this the song titles’ length and practical unimportance and you’ve pretty much made an Explosions in the Sky record for the noise set.

But don’t get the impression that I’m all out hating on Fuck Buttons. What the duo does, it does well. Street Horrrsing is a solid if still flawed album full of enough cool moments to satisfy anyone who might be interested in checking it out. I might have actually enjoyed it more had I not been prompted to think it was going to change the face of noise forever. That it does not do.