The Null Device

Tender Buttons

I recently picked up the new Broadcast album, Tender Buttons. It's an impressive return to form.

Their earlier work, Extended Play 2 and The Noise Made By People, caught attention with its combination of experimental sounds and swinging-60s-style psychedelic pop. (I haven't heard Work and Non-Work, and so can't comment on it.) With the album that followed, Haha Sound, they seemed to lose the plot a bit; the first track/single sounded like an attempt to jump on the electroclash bandwagon à la Goldfrapp, with much of the rest of it sounding like a mediocre Sound Of Music cash-in. With Tender Buttons, they've found their direction again, and it sounds like early Stereolab only made using a GameBoy; stripped down to a tightly focussed krautrock-esque angularity, with their trademark melodious vocals. And the presence of a track that seems to be a rant about US military oil imperialism or something of the sort similar probably won't hurt their chances (except perhaps of playing at any of Clear Channel's festivals or venues).

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