Black Button


Black Button Rejoice LP

Filthy bummer-punk from this Richmond band, for fans of NO TREND and FLIPPER. Caustic guitars carry misanthropic vocals, some shouted, some long-form spoken word. Songs like “Again and Again” and “Forever in Time” have simple guitar and bass interplay that dirge into the ground before speeding to hardcore tempos. Several lyrical diatribes concern a complicated relationship with religion and faith. “Testimony” is a self-aware examination of a person’s experience with Christianity that leaves them with more questions than answers: “The Lord is my shepherd / But all sheep will meet the executioner’s hand / We are sinners in the hands of a vengeful, angry, and distrustful God / And to live a good life / We must recognize the consequences of each action we take.” The theme returns several times throughout the record, adding heft to the Rejoice title. Gnarled, introspective noise for desolation punks.

Black Button I Want to Be in Control cassette

BLACK BUTTON really caught my attention last year with their short demo tape, so I was pretty psyched when I saw this release pop up. As I had hoped, it’s a hell of a ride. This formidable Richmond act plays intense, jazzy, angular, and cerebral lo-fi hardcore that creates a dense, disturbing, dystopian-like atmosphere to pull the listener in. The music is equal parts groovy and gripping, aided by a desperate, tortured, and venomous vocal performance spitting thought-provoking spoken word on top. Every once in a while everything seems to just fall apart, adding a dimension of No Wave clamor to the sound. I just can’t decide which version of the band’s self-titled “theme song” I prefer—the haunting live arthouse version on the demo or the tightly-wound, homicidal-horn-laced chaos found here. They’re both great, and so are the rest of these unique tunes. I’m pulling out the big B-word on this one—brilliant stuff. Don’t sleep on it.