Dumb Flesh (CD)

Benjamin John Power of electro-noise-pop duo Fuck Buttons crafts an album full of experimental instrumentals that pulsate and contort like gelatinous beings. “Loam’s” synth squelches, clipped beats and warped vocal snippets slowly come into focus on a tune that feels alien and yet strangely beautiful when viewed in the right light. However, Blanck Mass’ sounds are still plenty accessible. “Dead Format’s” beats heave and gallop with a tribal, festival-friendly groove. “No Lite” strips back some of the din to focus on its hypnotic, static beat, while the sound swirling around it evolves across the track’s nearly 10 minutes. “Atrophies” is one of Power’s best, utilizing arcade-game synthesizers and an 808-style handclap beat without sounding exclusively like a throwback, allowing the track to shift and morph in strange ways when necessary. Like Fuck Buttons, Blanck Mass’ occasionally unsettling and mostly vocal-free sound is an acquired taste, but it’s kind of like trying an exotic new flavor and suddenly realizing you liked truffles all along—after just a few tracks of Dumb Flesh, your palate shifts and you’re hooked.

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