The Voluntary Butler Scheme

A Million Ways to Make Gold
Split Records

The one-man powerhouse Rob Jones returns for his third full-length offering as The Voluntary Butler Scheme. The album is rather charming and doting, jam-packed with meandering guitar melodies. A Million Ways to Make Gold diverts from Jones’ norm and marks his first foray into the world of big brass. This exploration is immensely successful and each song’s engine is fed coal by the warm hum of trumpet and sax.

So Tired (So Tired) puts the horns at the forefront, as a Stand By Me appropriated bassline huddles up to the vocals succinctly. The wonderful Looking For Nearby Water echoes the whimsy, and gently moving songwriting of Jon Brion, and yet Jones’ lyrics are still filled with honesty.

The real treat, however, is the title track itself, as harp meets horn and the entire world seems to be dub-dipped in water. While the floating guitar that forms the heart of this record is strong, it is during its melancholic, weird and experimental moments that this album really shines through making it brilliant.

Corin Douieb