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-  Label: 'Whimsical'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '27th April 2009'-  Catalogue No: 'ICALCD03'

Our Rating:
There are numerous solo artists with names that sound like bands and, just to add to the confusion, here we have a band with a name that sounds like a solo act. Jack Butler are a Scottish four piece based in Stirling.

The drum roll intro of 'Hit It Out the Park, Son' sets us up for three attention grabbing, high energy Art-Funk songs that open the album.

Track 4 - 'Ode' - starts more slowly but there's no significant let up in the breakneck for the rest of the album.

What Liam Kelly's voice lacks in subtlety he makes up for with passion but there's a sameness to his strained delivery that gets a bit wearing before you reach the 13th and final frack.

More whisperin' and less hollerin' would give most of these songs more chance to breathe and avoid the sensation that the listener is being relentlessly pummelled into submission.

Highlights include 'Plea to Paper' which has shades of Vampire Weekend's Afro-Pop meets Indie beat and an intriguingly jerky stop-start structure. It leads neatly into the highly danceable rhythms of 'Are You A Hustler?' which, not surprisingly, has been chosen as a single. On this track you half expect them to switch from singing the title line to urging us to 'do the Hustle'.

The band are at their best when they are not taking themselves too seriously, as on 'Are You A Hustler?', and on the equally party orientated - and frankly pretty silly - 'Ostinatos' which comes complete with fake foreign accents and sounds suspiciously as if the group downed a few shots of Tequilla before pressing record.

This is a dynamic and enjoyably uptempo debut album although the shouty vocals and laddish harmonies are probably more suited to a live setting.
  author: Martin Raybould

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