Tarot Sport

Album Review of Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons.

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Tarot Sport

Fuck Buttons

Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons

Release Date: Oct 20, 2009
Record label: ATP
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental

80 Music Critic Score
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Tarot Sport - Very Good, Based on 8 Critics

Drowned In Sound - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

In an age where poetry occupies a similar status to the BCG jab (something unpleasant, to be got out of the way with at school), it’s remarkable how many people can still dredge up the climax to TS Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”. Or maybe it’s not that impressive. “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper”; it’s a quotable summation of the fact the British have basically been in a mard ever since the Empire started unravelling.

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Pitchfork - 90
Based on rating 9.0/10
90

Like any noise group, Fuck Buttons rely on a certain amount of vulgarity and aggression. While they've always possessed a knack for melody that has, for their genre, provided their music with an accessible edge, listeners unaccustomed to blood-curdling screams and metal-scraping drones have had their work cut out for them when searching for the more delicate moments that helped make last year's Street Horrrsing such a stunning listen. Tarot Sport represents a subtler, more mature approach to songwriting and a sharpening of their craft.

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Paste Magazine - 84
Based on rating 8.4/10
84

Difficult listening pays off Ten-minute songs, pounding drones, synths on endless loop, vocals nowhere to be found, and that charming band name—this one really sells itself, doesn’t it? Here’s the thing, though: under all that noise (no, within all that noise) are moments of extraordinary, revelatory beauty. On their sophomore album, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power have carved some holes in the abrasive, percussive wall of sound that made Street Horrrsing at once memorable and difficult, and they’ve patched things up with atmospheric samples that—as on the appropriately titled epic “Olympians”—sound downright triumphant. That’s not to say that Fuck Buttons have gone soft (“Rough Steez” is as dense and industrial as a Mouse on Mars b-side), and songs like the stunning opener “Surf Solar” split the difference between Horrrsing’s grit and Tarot Sport’s danceability.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

The way people toss around words like ‘experimental’ and ‘avant-garde’, you’d think they were important to still have any meaning. But trust [i]NME[/i], [a]Fuck Buttons[/a] aren’t avant-garde. Sure, their debut, 2008’s [b]‘Street Horrrsing’[/b], was a weird beast – a hybrid of the tropical wibble of [a]Black Dice[/a], the abrasive howls of [a]Wolf Eyes[/a] and the starburst kosmische of [a]Boredoms[/a], birthed from laptop, floor tom, myriad synthesizers and some kit apparently shoplifted from the Early Learning Centre.

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The Guardian - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Fuck Buttons - or F*ck Buttons, according to their rather prudish press release - are two guys, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power. Adored by a certain kind of Pitchfork-reading indie fan, their second album's long, trance-inducing instrumentals nod to techno, noise and even the current shoegaze revival. This music, however, creates the Sagrada Família of sonic cathedrals: beautiful, organic and prone to sprout weird and wonderful tentacles of sound.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Fuck Buttons' Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power can't be accused of repeating themselves on Tarot Sport. Post-rock, noise, and electronics lived in perfect (dis)harmony on their debut, Street Horrrsing, but here the duo channel their intensity in a focused, rather than explosive, way. Hung and Power drafted Andrew Weatherall, who remixed Street Horrrsing's "Sweet Love for Planet Earth," to produce Tarot Sport; while the album is more overtly electronic than Fuck Buttons' previous music, Weatherall's influence is felt more in Tarot Sport's precision.

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PopMatters - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

The first Fuck Buttons LP, last year’s Street Horrrsing, sprawled without actually doing anything. Empty gestures and energy directed towards no eventualities. Folk were disarmed by their readiness to balance the noise with big melodic statements, but it was done without finesse. Their live shows around the time were predictable in the way they dealt in such monochromatic shades as the album—we were either building and exploding, or just whispering.

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No Ripcord - 60
Based on rating 6/10
60

I bought the Fuck Buttons debut album, Street Horrrsing on a whim in the summer of 2008 while working at Ducky’s Office Furniture in Bellevue, Washington. I bought it at the same time that I bought one of the fancy Rhino reissues of Fun House, so when I got in the car to head home after a long day of pondering furniture there wasn’t really even a thought to which one would be blasting out of my speakers that day. I gave the Buttons a quick glance over listen that night, thinking it was interesting but being completely unable to imagine being in the mood for it.

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