Two tracks into Voluntary Butler Scheme’s new album A Million Ways To Make Gold and it’s almost impossible to think about anything bad in the world, for this brass filled record is just so damn chirpy.
This is the third album for one man band Rob Jones, who has been gracing the world with his music since 2009 with the release of debut album At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea. His first record featured kazoos and kids toys, and with second album The Grandad Galaxy came experimentation with electronics; this time round VBS is treating us to the product of time spent learning brass instruments from YouTube videos.
‘Brainfreeze’, which was released as an app for iPhone and iPod to introduce VBS’s new brassy ways, takes Rob’s signature catchy lyrics and teams it with a plethora of sliding, jazzy notes, with every listen leading to the discovery of a new little tune which will undoubtedly get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
‘So tired (so tired)’ takes on a slow swing vibe, and lyrically is one of the more morose tracks on the record, but VBS’s new found love for all instruments gold and shiny is still apparent. Just not so much as in ‘Easy Way Out’, which sounds like a brass section were told to go and have much fun as possible whilst creating music and Jones teamed the result with his morally sound lyrics to form a happy-go-lucky track teaching his fans you have really got to try to get results out of life.
Rob says himself that he wasn’t looking for the slickest of sounds from his experimentation with brass, and the album is not a perfected musical package. It’s got a boisterous feel to it, he’s playing with music, with sounds, and the results of that playing has led to an album of upbeat, skipalong songs.
VBS obviously had a lot of fun recording A Million Ways To Make Gold and it would be difficult not to have a lot of fun listening to it.