“A quick Fuck Buttons crash course: two bedroom electronica mavericks with screwy imaginations make a Mogwai-meets-acid-house debut on homemade equipment. The result, ‘Street Horrrsing’, is relentless, pulsating, brittle, often terrifying and frequently beautiful, and quite unlike what’s been before. Now, for round two, the pair have toughened up, but at the expense of much of the tension and fragility that accompanied their debut.

Gone are the feral yelps and clattering, arrhythmic drums; in their place a new feeling of control. Gone is the sense of no one, not least the band, having much idea of what happens next; in its place a deliberate sense of planning and composition. It’s clearly the same musicians, but with altered ambitions, and behind the bulk of these changes is producer Andy Weatherall, whose ‘Screamadelica’-tinged fingerprints are all over these tracks for better and for worse.

The outcome is a more finely crafted record than ‘Street Horrrsing’, whose peaks, particularly the mesmerising ‘Flight of the Feathered Serpent’, surpass those of its predecessor. However, the duo’s diminished punk mentality also allows tracks to meander – most noticeably on ‘Olympians’, the LP’s dull centrepiece, which has more interest in a lucrative BBC ident or car advert than the pugilism and uncompromising terror of Fuck Buttons at their best. All this is not to say, however, that ‘Tarot Sport’ isn’t a toweringly impressive piece of work in its own right – it is – but nonetheless there’s more than a hint of a once wild beast having been tamed.

8/10