A horrible hack

The Butter Up Band

Giant Chemical

Year Released: 2011
Format: CD
Label: The Static Cult
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Jun 21, 2011
Recorded in 2006 and originally released in 2007, this album is, like many of the records on the Static Cult label, an absolutely fantastic experimental journey that pushes boundaries yet lies in underappreciated obscurity. A project of Robin Reines, who is the sole contributor to The Butter Up Band, the aim of which was to just record whatever he liked and not worry about it; the result is a minimalistic fuzziness that borders on perfection.

The first track is skippable to be fair - noisy ambience that sets the scene but does little else - however, we find out what The Butter Band is all about shortly after. Basic drum machine beats, melodic guitar parts placed on top of one another, with incredibly eerie but beautiful vocals over the top - half whispered, half sung. I imagine a dying man's last breath as he sits in a hospital bed, awaiting the oblivion of death, but whispering his final words to the world while a bunch of people play haunting music beside him. Quite a disturbing picture but, also, not a bad way to go.

Songs like 'Broken Maps' and 'Border Of May' are standouts, when everything comes together. Many of the other tracks come across as interludes, including some instrumental tracks that remind me a little of The Faded Tapes. They strike a good balance, however, and further highlight the experiemntal nature - if you've listened to bands on this label by then then you know this is how it works. The last track is pretty perfect, linking the repetitive nature of the first track with the haunting vocals that Robert delivers. Until the old man's final breath is released and the haunting melody dwindles away.

21st June 2011
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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