A chorus of relatable roughnecks and hippies who play everything from traditional band instruments to glass bottles joins Ueland, boxes of change, and other items commonly dismissed as useless trash. Their creativity seems to stem from disgust with the status quo and an earnest desire to yell in the listener’s ear about the bonds that hold everyone back in an attempt to temporarily break them, or at least to stop ignoring them. The official membership of the band has swelled to eight members, each one with their own story to tell within the squalorous community of self-exploring vagabonds they have created. Sarah Berentson (back-up vocals/keyboard/accordion) brings an operatic balance to Ueland’s overtly masculine vocals with counter-melodies that complete the dystopia of the Buttons’ landscape.
The rest of the group, Kris Hafso (drums), Kristen “kB” Black (aux. percussion/brass instruments/aux. vocals), Ryan Brown (violin/glockenspiel), Michael Craviotto (bass), Jon Kielbon (solo guitar/aux. vocals), and the newly added Tyler Tupper (bass) overwhelm the original picture with a cacophony of surprising elements that should take any listener’s full attention to process.
Yet, out of this wall of wailing noise is born story after story of individual people wrestling with the dysfunctional society they were born into. Themes that resemble the plots of horror films intermix with simple romance. A fear of the death and the unknown is made bearable with the realization that the fear itself creates an army of likeminded friends who can stand up to the shadows. Aggression and pain meet courage and loyalty in the everyman and woman.
Some have called this sound “horror-folk,” I call it the must-listen siren song of a generation too often written off as egotists. It’s either a death rattle or a comforting assurance that original music will always persist. You decide. To date, Terrible Buttons have released two ep’s with a three-song addition expected to be released in March 2012 entitled “Pigpen”.
The latest effort, “Plates of Ether,” released on the fledgling record label Plastic Horse earlier this year, is full of the grungy, angry venom that has become standard in Ueland’s songwriting with the promise of even better things to come. The DIY necessity of being a young band in a fake music world is sure to add more interesting themes and stories as the tour bus continues to roll. Terrible Buttons were recently awarded "BEST OF 2010" by 103.1 KCDA, as well as recieving "BEST NEW ARTIST" and "BAND OF THE YEAR" at Spokane's 2011 Sommy Awards. Keep an eye out for upcoming shows featuring this up-and-coming Spokane band.
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