Fuck Buttons

Slow Focus

The third album seems like the appropriate one to make the grandiose statement; the fence swinging effort that could truly cement a band's place in the temple of sound. For Fuck Buttons, that musical pronouncement couldn't be more perfectly timed. The Bristol, U.K.-based duo found their second album Tarot Sport slathered with critical praise and surprising commercial success. If that weren't enough, two songs from that album made their way into the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. Considering the exosphere-scraping heights that the band achieved on Tarot—opening track "Surf Solar" alone marked this second album as an unabashed epic—it might have been a fool's errand to try and top it. But leapfrog it Fuck Buttons does, with inches to spare.

Everything about Slow Focus feels so much bigger, from the booming, lumbering drumbeat that kicks off its opening track "Brainfreeze" to low electronic growls that throttle through "Sentients." You can almost feel the weight of these songs bowing your back as the album goes on. True to form, there's a playful streak that bursts through many of these seven songs, as well. The album's first single "The Red Wing" is driven by a bouncing loop that sounds like it was made with a hip-hop windup toy. And before closing track "Hidden XS" disappears behind a wall of glitter, it skips along via a silky trap beat and a touch of overdriven guitar.

It will be interesting to see what happens for Fuck Buttons following the release of Slow Focus. This album has been one of the most anticipated of the summer months and will likely only add fuel to an already rolling fire beneath the duo. Their less-than-radio friendly name will likely keep them just outside of the mainstream, but what they've accomplished on this monolith of an LP is going to be impossible to ignore during this last half of 2013.

ATP http://www.atpfestival.com/recordings.php