Broadcast - Tender Buttons - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Broadcast - Tender Buttons

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

One of the first ‘rock’ bands to sign to Warp Records, Birmingham’s Broadcast have pretty much come to define the label’s shift from techno futurism to a home for blurred-boundary experimentalism of every stripe. Tender Buttons finds the group stripped down to a core duo of Trish Keenan and James Cargill, it finds the band’s formative influences – the Dr Who vibes of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the mantric repetition of Krautrock, and the blissful impulse of American psychedelia – presented in bare, unfussy arrangements that lack the murky ambience and meticulous layering of their earlier work.

Luckily, it’s an impulse that suits Broadcast’s new emphasis on lyrics: see the excellent "Michael’, where Keenan serenades the song’s subject with a stream of cute phrases and bizarre non-sequiters ("C’mon, your father was a teddy-boy/ There’s nothing written on your finger-nails"), or "Black Cat" – references to Masons and Pharaohs, not to mention lines cribbed from Alice In Wonderland, cooed over sparking synth-lines. The emotional content is never clear or straight-talking, but it’s this sense of warm, fuzzy logic that’s possibly Broadcast’s greatest strength – Louis Pattison

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