The Voluntary Butler Scheme – A Million Ways to Make Gold (Split Records)

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The_Voluntary_Butler_Scheme_-_A_Million_Ways_To_Make_GoldLook. See the men with sunglasses and beards and tight jeans. They are happy. Do you see ? They have girls with them. The girls wear bright, modern and fashionable clothes and they are happy. Do you see ? Together the men with beards and the girls with clothes are having fun. They drink fashionable drinks in fashionable venues and no-one thinks about the future. they are having fun. Do you see ? No-one here will die or get sick and no-one here needs to think about the economy or politics or other things that aren’t fashionable. What they need to do is to laugh and move about and do the things that people do to make them happy so that they can forget all about the fact that we’re all going to die, some of us horribly. They need a soundtrack that makes them forget that we’re a parasitic smear of fragile biological matter, moving in limited hormone driven patterns on the face of a whirling sphere of rock that will one day be engulfed by the sun. In short they need something like The Voluntary Butler Scheme. I could expound on the details behind the recording of this album and I’ll admit I was impressed to learn that Rob Jones (who is all component parts of the band) learned to play brass specifically for this album, but at the end of the day this album is a million miles away from anything I want to listen to. Hook filled and with plenty of jaunty pop verse-chorus-verse action this is a perfectly pleasant album. Which is why I hate it. Mechanistically soothing chord progressions, lyrics about being in love with girls and wearingly predictable song after wearingly predictable song come and go until all of a sudden you’re mired in some sort of horrible Beatles album. I don’t like the Beatles. Not because they’re insanely popular as a brand (because along with Elvis, Led Zeppelin, U2 and a host of other rock bands that’s essentially all they are) but because I was born in 1976 and I had more interest in the cultural output of my generation rather than the previous one. So while I suppose the fact that this is like a Beatles album produced by Beck is of immense interest to some, for me it made listening to it on repeated occasions quite painful. I will make this addendum however, if you are one of the many people who find our music podcast a hellish experience and you find my interest in records that sound like they were made in a maternity ward quite off putting, then this may well be for you.

50,000 dodecahedrons

Kim Monaghan

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