At long last, I’ve finally found a band I can truly call a more industrial version of Xiu Xiu, but minus the lyrics. Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power make up the British duo Fuck Buttons, a band that further blurs the distinction between music and noise.
Is there a difference between the two? I guess it ultimately falls on the listener (and sometimes, perhaps the artist) to decide. One person’s audible euphoria is another person’s induced aneurism.
Many different stylings and themes are interspersed throughout the album’s six tracks. There’s the hopeful optimism found in many science fiction movie soundtracks (“Sweet Love For Planet Earth”), the animalistic and raw sounds of a pagan ritual (“Ribs Out”), and the static frequencies of radio communication (“Okay, Let’s Talk About Magic”).
Other than their name, I can easily see why the Fuck Buttons would turn off most people. They don’t make your typical style of music. Without a catchy chorus — or even lyrics for that matter — it might drive people to hit the stop button on iTunes or the off position on their ears. FB has challenged the average listener with something unconventional (although they’re not the first), and probably very unpopular, but very listenable.
That’s when the listener is confronted with that age-old question: What is music? The question will never be answered to anyone’s true satisfaction, but more personal questions are then posed. What is the purpose of music? Is music meant to be listened to or to be experienced? With Street Horrrsing, I think both can be done. It could easily be mistaken for a film score, but listening to its range and diversity can really envelope someone in a particular moment.
Reviewing an album like this is extremely hard. At best it seems like I’m sidestepping landmines by relating Fuck Button’s full-length debut to music in general. At worst it seems like I gunned straight toward the emergency exit and didn’t look back. The noise pop genre sure has gained another member.
It’s music like this that is really in that grey area of art. Music like this doesn’t distract, and instead engages you. It just plays and lets you deal with it.