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Terrible Buttons


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Kent Ueland (lead vocals/guitar) and his fellow bandmates have managed to harness a piece of a dying art form. Not the three minutes of predictable radio drivel we have come to expect from talented people, but a close encounter with the human experience. In the case of Terrible Buttons (Spokane, WA/Plastic Horse Records, Northfield, MN), this experience comes from the heart of musicians who know that what they are trying to say is hard on the ears and aggressively challenging to the mind. Musical conventions are tools, not the entirety of songwriting, and the Buttons have managed to find truth through music at a young age. 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.

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