Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Voluntary Butler Scheme – The Chevreul EP

The Voluntary Butler Scheme is, being Rob Jones alone, one of those mavericks that people love unreservedly, when in reality his output is wildly hit and miss. Songs like The BT Tower and The Eiffel Tower are absolute melodic gems, but like many artistes, he is prone to the noodling and avant garde. Unless you enjoy listening to abstract squiggles, this stuff is best left alone.

The EP employs a weird trick of starting with two versions of Do The Hand Jive rather than book-ending the record with them. Having them together merely accentuates how similar they are, although the Go Team remix has a tad more fizz. The tune itself is a weird one, and you can see why the Go Team have been asked to lend their hand to remixing. It’s very much their knock kneed little brother blinking in the bright lights as he steps onto the dancefloor, to their brash exuberant disco dancer. That said, it is interesting and repeated plays might throw it up as a right earworm. To The Height Of A Frisbee employs his cool trick of seemingly nonsensical rhymes and sharp dashes and changes of melodic direction to provide hooks a plenty. Satisfactory Substitute is one of his annoyances, employing well spoken samples to try and come off like the Avalanches, but falling flat and well short. DOPL rounds off the EP with an unsatisfactory pinging instrumental.

If only Jones would write more like Frisbee and his other gems and did less of the messing around, more people could come to love him.

The Chevreul EP is out now on Split Records
The Voluntary Butler Scheme myspace is here