The Voluntary Butler Scheme is the vehicle for Rob Jones, a singer-songwriter from Dudley. He accompanies himself mostly, with a bit of help from friends and his mum – who has the important job of saying random words on Do the Hand Jive.
Jones clearly fancies himself as a bit of a DJ Shadow type, taking inspiration from budget Tamla Motown, Pet Shop Boys and Buddy Holly – names which you probably wouldn’t see together on any compilation. Jones had planned to make a full LP in six weeks, however, after recording 11 songs in a rented basement in London’s Old Street, things didn’t quite go to plan, leaving this one-man outfit to remix and hack up his raw material for almost a year before Granddad Galaxy came into being.
It’s not a bad listen, and, instrumentally, To the Height of a Frisbee and Astro are particularly catchy. If anything, it’s Jones’ lyrics that really let him down; too many bad puns and misplaced cultural references. It’s good in the background, but if you look too closely, cracks begin to emerge.