Butler Williams – Save it for Someone Else EP

Release Date 22/03/2010

By Elinor O’Neill

Butler Williams sound like a couple of nice guys.  Their voices are soothing and mellow and their parts merge so peacefully that it is often impossible to distinguish where one starts and the other one finishes. This is their second release to date and for two guys who are known for performances which give a bit of fire to a stagnant stage on a slow folk night they have done well to transfer their luxuriously layered tracks on to disc.

One does not like to get too obsessed with packaging and gimmicks but this record feels like one which has the potential to stand the test of time so it’s a good job they have packaged it prettily.

There is a bareness and a refreshing simplicity to their sound even with the numerous and often unexpected unusual musical parts, one of which sounds a lot like a light-sabre swooping through the air.  Listened to whilst passing through the hustle and bustle of the town, the tracks taken in their entirety will take your mind far from city living to thoughts of picnics staged at the top of a hill whilst one lies up on the grass, glowing from the fire with nothing but cold beer and cider for sustenance.  Their lyrics and the sweetness of their voices are the strengths of every track. Save It For Someone Else, the title track, is wonderfully mastered so their booming voices are carefully complicated with a delicate harmonica and a strong strum.

The problem with some tracks is their tendency to drag out the endings.  This is true especially of You Will Learn and Set in Stone.  They both start brilliantly; beating at our heart strings with persuasively strong percussion and carefully crafted lyrics which play with phrases like: “Your actions aren’t as loud as your words  or so we’ve heard.”  The difficulty comes as the song is dragged out for whatever reason at the end; the energy is lost, one’s attention fades and the finish falls flat on bored ears. The best track of all is the shortest, Tighten Your Belt.  In it the boys give us a bit of gravel in their throats and it suits them well.

They do swear a little but it fits well into their harder lyrics which are more grasping than those of the other tracks.
My favourite line of all will look coarse on screen but upon the track Butler Williams make it sheer poetry.  “Shook up but not down and out, you fucked up and your losing out.”

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