Review of Jock Cheese, The Jock Cheese Platter, Brett Buttfield, dB magazine

[Argh, Brett fucking Buttfield... Dolly magazine to TISM's Duran Duran.]

It's fair to say I don't think any of us saw this one coming. A TISM member solo album, it confounds the mind. Immediately there's that solo project spot trivia contest of trying to suss how often that voice has made it out front now that it's divorced from the group harmony, and can it survive on it's own? So is it the usual solo project dumping ground for songs the band couldn't bother cutting or a striking new direction?

Well it's too easy to hear TISM doing Totally Addicted To Skase and Piss In My Pocket , but then with band mates Ron Hitler-Barassi and Humphrey B Flaubert discreetly along for the ride co-writing lyrics there's bound to be some thematic links. The big surprise with 'The Cheese Platter' is just how unsurprising the music is. It's not that Cheese has created a dull album, it's just full of remarkably sensitive and restrained musicianship, often at odds with the subject matter (the tenderness of I Done It With The Drama Teacher for example). Who knew contempt could sound so gentle as it does on Dave Graney's Country Idyll?

'The Cheese Platter' sounds akin to latter albums by Hunters & Collectors, polished guitar-driven tunes of a morose and reflective nature - only concerned more with the wry misery of suburban life than the heroic tragedy of failing to crack the American market. Jock Cheese's agreeable, subdued voice narrates tales of spiritual disaffection (O Great Rabbit In The Sky), football as metaphor for personal failure (Friday Night Shakespeare) and ditties about literature (Don't Burn 'Em All J.D.).

Business as usual for a tribe called TISM then. So unlike most solo projects 'The Cheese Platter' probably doesn't represent the first cracks in the corporate edifice. I still can't believe this happened.

Brett Buttfield

Home Page

multimedia lyrics articles links contact