Fuck Buttons at the Barfly

Hunched over a small table centre stage covered with a studio's worth of electronic equipment, Fuck Buttons proceeded to blast gaping holes through what was left of the crowd's eardrums as they pushed every single part of their kit to its limits. The sound from the synthesisers, drum machines, bizarre processors and even one of those toy tape recorders with a dinky microphone that the Early Learning Centre used to sell could have filled a room ten times the size of the Barfly.

The two members of Fuck Buttons, facing each other over their gadget packed table, took the same approach to their noise channelling throughout the set. Thick but fragile synthesised chords were left to hang above waves of processed white noise, and just as the weight of the sound began to feel overbearing or monotonous they would undercut it with a driving kick drum.

This approach did become repetitive after a while, however, and some sections of the set seemed to last for an ear-splitting infinity. I couldn't help but find this particularly grating after the two support acts - the cello-wielding Alexander Tucker, and Latahs, who was nothing more than a spoilt teenager whose parents bought him too much electronic equipment for Christmas – relied entirely on looping the same dull riff ad infinitum.

However, where Fuck Buttons got it so right, and their support acts so dreadfully wrong, was in knowing just when to drop the killer beat. After ten minutes of chunky arpeggiators at the beginning of the set, a complex tribal beat was suddenly launched, which set the band members dancing round the audience clicking drum sticks and whooping down their nursery school microphone. A circle quickly formed around them and over enthusiastic emo teenagers tried to act like they were as tripped out as the band, but before it all got out of hand the band leapt back on stage to add more layers to the drums to complete the highlight of the whole set.

Of course, the music Fuck Buttons are making is entirely derivative. They live and breathe Black Dice and Liars, or just about anything on DFA. But in their defence, not many bands in this country are playing such noisy sets which also manage to really excite a crowd, while the sheer energy with which they approach their instruments marks them out. Maybe they think they can get away with claiming to stand out because of their dodgy name.

Fuck Buttons may not be particularly original, and don't approach them asking for a song with anything like a chorus, but the quality of their unbelievably thick sound is just spot on, even if they don't quite do enough to vary their textures and rhythms. If the sound of an entire suite of computers overloading and blasting out Eno's Windows 95 theme through kicked in speakers sounds like your kind of thing, then Fuck Buttons can probably come closest to recreating that sound while still managing to make a room dance.

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