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Voluntary Butler Scheme - The Grandad Galaxy

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 4 / 8 / 2011

Voluntary Butler Scheme - The Grandad Galaxy
Label: Split Records
Format: CD


Over-stylised second album of quirky pop from the Voluntary Butler Scheme, the project of Birmingham-based musician, which proves to be hard to either ignore or embrace

Rob Jones is from Brummieland ,and this second album somehow shows he has Pram's music in his genes. Leapfrogging from glitch lounge to daft ballroom nostalgia, 'The Granddad Galaxy' stands dangerously close to corny kitsch. A little too much in love with his sampler, it is not until the third track 'Sky Shed' that it seems as if the Voluntary Butler Scheme has ideas of his own. And next, he ruins the mood with a Beach Boys sample mixed with an echoing wall of sound. Halfway through things, however, get grittier and, as it turns out, he's no one-trick pony. The aural chaos obviously sets out to cause confusion and, with style taking over coherence and composition, it is lovely wacky muzak in a sense. I can't help the feeling the Voluntary Butler Scheme tries to out British quintessential Britishness. Graced with good taste, young Mr Jones has found a ton worth of excellent samples but he needs to fire them off with more class, and certainly with more spice. The melody lines are almost entirely made from one single pattern or format, although he seems too eager to include all the great samples he has collected. This off kilter neo doowop will, however, go down like a storm at the local pub as it is the kind of extravaganza to which you can do silly dances too! Due to a slight touch of bhangra cabaret and scratching, originality greatly improves on 'Satisfactory Substitute' and on the subsequent 'Manuals' the Voluntary Butler Scheme extrapolates the merger of composition and production much better. 'Stone' and 'D.O.P.I' continue in such vein, whilst on 'Empty Hand' the Voluntary Butler Scheme has decided to become selective and his merry-go-round now sounds much more inviting than on the would-be mish mash fun at the start. Drowned in found sounds, the album takes time to settle in. Particularly the first few tracks give a false impression of his talents but on the closing track 'Pow' he shows courage. Hard to ignore and alas hard to embrace entirely.

Track Listing:-
1 Hiring A Car
2 Shake Me By The Shoulders
3 Sky Shed
4 Astro
5 Do The Hand Jive
6 To The Height Of A Frisbee
7 Umbrella Fight
8 Phosphor Burn-In
9 Don't Rely On It, Don't Count On It
10 Satisfactory Substitute
11 Manuals
12 Stone
13 D.O.P.L
14 Empty Hand
15 Pow

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