Slow Focus review by Fuck Buttons

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jul 22, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.4 (25 votes)
Fuck Buttons: Slow Focus
3

Sound — 8
Shock! Horror! Outrage! This is electronic music, why are UG reviewing this? I thought this was supposed to be Ultimate Guitar, not Ultimate Drone! Well, if it helps I could tell you that Fuck Buttons write all of their songs on a Dimebag signature Razorback before they translate them to synths and sine waves. But I'd be lying. What this British duo undoubtedly are is challenging. Poisoning the chalice of dance music's more esoteric forms with noise and drone, their racket is as aggressive, heavy and apocalyptic as any guitar music you'd care to name. The idea of the "difficult second album" is put into perspective when the press treat your debut as the superlative end of all things, but second LP "Tarot Sport" went straight back on the offensive and, even after a four year break, new album "Slow Focus" doesn't seem to be any more forgiving. Dense, dark bass synths swarm as "Brainfreeze" grows and expands from a base of tribal drums and the repetition is tough. Whilst "Sentients" is a vocoded nightmare and "The Red Wing"'s bass riff runs black to the core, their orchestrations have grace, poise and a great deal of substance. No matter how tall the tower of sound grows, how blistering the noise becomes, they never lose sight of the initial spark - someone humming a tune, striking a drum or playing a chord on the keyboard. That is their greatest strength, and their strongest link to guitar music via post-rock. You can hear Mogwai's curiosity beneath the roaring waves of "Stalker," the digital catharsis of 65daysofstatic sounding through the rubble as "Hidden XS" dismantles the first six tracks and brings about the end of the album with emotional, musical and pyrotechnic closure. These last two tracks, which span over twenty minutes, will give newcomers an idea of what electronic music can do: evolve and mutate over long periods, swapping instant gratification for the feeling of having journeyed, and having changed with the music along the way.

Lyrics — 8
There are no words, only noises.

Overall Impression — 8
Fuck Buttons are a wonderfully immersive listen. "Slow Focus" takes their previous constructions and forces them under hot water, leaving the chaos awash with reverb across extended trances. It is formidable, imposing but far from impenetrable. Give it a chance and it may surprise you; give in and it will sweep you away. If the restraints and repetitions of rock and metal are starting to leave you cold then introducing something like this to your diet may well be what keeps you going this summer.

YouTube preview picture
YouTube preview picture

34 comments sorted by best / new / date

    N-D
    Surprisingly fresh and interesting music - perhaps not groundbreaking, but really immersive. By the way, they still use guitars - but with a huge amount of distortion - last track "Hidden XS" is a good example:
    TheGroundZero
    I saw these guys open for the Pixies a few years ago, and I've never seen an opening act clear a venue as fast. Now I don't knock any type of music. Everyone has their own tastes. But these guys produced the most horrific noise I've ever heard in my life. Seriously, a good 80% of everyone in their seats got up and left the main area. Can't forget the name though.
    MichaelScarn
    I like how Ultimate Guitar will censor "ass" in their articles but has no problem with this on their homepage lol
    Vinushka
    I love putting on my headphones, turning up the bass and playing The Red Wing at a very high volume. Something about it is just...right.
    LOCKYPOCKRAN
    The song Surf Solar is an excellent track.They used it in the last Olympics ,But they never mentioned it was the Fuck Buttons.
    wolvesofmibu
    The first song posted was irritating as hell, but the second one wasn't bad. Their name, on the other hand...
    FlyingPirahna
    I listened to this on Pitchfork's stream because I got a kick out of the name, but it's really, really good. I definitely can see how the reviewer connected them to post-rock, too (even though it's a lot more raucous and noisy).
    Ibeanez
    Wow, there are more kinds of stupidity in this comment section than I knew existed.
    Rocketface2112
    not digging the music, not really what i like...i have to say the band name is probly one of the best i have heard in a long time!!XD
    EyesWideOpen
    Please caj you not place buttona/word(s_) of foulness on front paGE Ug. It#s against my religon.
    Lol Natures
    Look away and scroll down really fast when you load the page, or get a better religion. Either way, your religious beliefs are yours. You deal with the silly rules.
    elcapitan1800
    Religious opposition or not, it is pretty silly that they censor us (**** ***** assclown ****) in the comments and then place that on the top review article
    -xCaMRocKx-
    Yeah, UG really needs to decide on their language policy, because right now it makes no sense. Can't swear in the comment sections, but you can put FUCK on the front page of the site?
    The_Dayman
    Why UG censors the comments at all is beyond me. We're all big boys. I think we can handle it.
    codyjt5150
    I'm a christian as well. But FUCK is not technically against any religion. It's a man made abbreviation from 1475 meaning Fornication Under consent of the King. Grow up, get used to it, welcome to the internet.
    troutman
    That's actually not so true, but it is an ancient word that belongs in the language. Any good god will care more about you deeds than the words you read. http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/...
    starsky133
    Note to anyone trying to click that link, it was censored by UG. Just change the ****.asp to what seems [in]appropriate.
    EyesWideOpen
    What do you mean you're a Christian "as well"? My comment wasn't serious but no where did I say I was a christian.
    marshallh60
    Please can you write with proper English and punctuation so we can all understand what you are saying.
    EyesWideOpen
    I was just trying to be a bit funny guys. Didn't think people would take it so seriously...
    The_Dayman
    I honestly didn't think anybody would take your comment seriously. I thought spotting trolls was easy. I guess I was wrong.
    Molomono
    You know, this is a great example of why religion is a pain in societies ass. I'm all a-ok with people around me being religious and i'm tolerant of their habits and traditions, the most i ask in return is that they are equally tolerant of my habits and traditions. The blatant hypocrisy of many religious people is what turns me off more than me disagreeing with their beliefs in general.
    bokma
    For anyone that wants to hear a very post-rockish song by these guys, listen to The Lisbon Maru. Just sayin...
    badfish_lewis
    Fuck buttons is great, I wish everyone could listen to **** all day. I also wish more bands would be influenced by these ****ing guys