The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2015 Records

Reviewed by Luke Winkie, March 20, 2015, Music

Will Butler

Policy (Merge)

Can't be easy holding court in Arcade Fire. You've got brother Win Butler's visionary aspirations, right next to Régine Chassagne's hurdy-gurdy dramatics, and hugely opinionated guys like James Murphy behind the boards. There's not always room to breath, so Will Butler took this window between albums to issue his very own solo disc. Unsurprisingly, Policy is a much smaller affair than his primary band's titanic statements on death, God, and 21st century malaise. Instead Butler dips his toes into jaunty, Modern Lovers-esque rockabilly ("Anna") and much louder, trashier bits like "What I Want" where he quips about "pony macaroni." These quicker, looser influences were once a part of Arcade Fire's repertoire before the disco showed up, so maybe this counts as rebellion. More likely it's just a man blowing off steam without his band's orthodoxy. (Fri., 12mid, Maggie Mae's)


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