09 October 2007



It's hard to write about how fucking good this band - this record - really is. If you like to ROCK, then you really need to hear this album. If you are in a rock band - then you would seriously want to be in Future Of The Left.

Out of Cardiff, Wales, this year-old-ish alternative rock trio Future Of The Left are two thirds of defunct alt-post-grunge underground glitterati "mclusky" - with singer/ guitarist Andy Falkous, and drummer Jack Egglestone - plus Jarcrew's Kelson Louis Matthias.

Not that any band history is needed here. FOTL's debut album of 14 killer-songs, Curses, is an absolute dirty pleasure to consume. Raw, heavy-driven, quick-and-steady rolling guitar and deep-fat, bass-punch riffs abound. This is primitive galloping percussion, emptying edgy guts of into a precise collection of scorching, snarling riffs and blistering lyrics.

This is a smart and dangerous record to excite the punk, giving cred to power guitars and razor-blade lyrics. There is filthy clever cacophony and hope in the world! It is a good thing.

If you do need references, think Melvins, Pixies, Sonics, maybe Black Flagg and certainly Fugazi - to cite big-school generics. But this is a fresh album of a hundred listens. The more I listen the more I need another dose. The seemingly spastic nature of each track belies the firm song-structure and cock-sure chainsaw delivery. These lads know what they are doing.

Lyrics tell of contempt in a modern world - of bitterness and politics, of cats and bees, of tiny children, of domestic violence - all in crazed abrasive metaphorical undertones.

The use of keyboards/synth in many tracks here is refreshing and surprising - at once strange - then realisation kicks in. The electro deserves its place. Once you hear them - you get it. Like you may have gotten Pavement many years back. But hey, no that’s not right - they sound nothing like Pavement - and FOTL's usage of keys here is hard and sharp, sometimes melodic, but always warranted - stabbing you back to swampy life.

There is swagger and bluster. There is intelligence and idiocy. There is screaming brutal sardonic wit and sarcasm pushing the Future's flavours, a solid barrage of black humour and rock violence. This is post-neo-rock at its best: short, nasty, yet tasty songs, guitars and bass and noise and metronomic rocker beats pushing the melodics, testing the sonics. At the Drive-In and Jesus Lizard are perhaps embedded if you want to listen for them. This music is immediate - there is a compulsion to the drive.

Confusing, enigmatic, claustrophobic and poetic lyrics (like: "bury our bodies close to the light"; "all he ever wanted was a detonator"; "hide your dreams from capital"; "wave, wave, wave, I don't wanna wave at them"; "thanks for the tories"; "violence she solves everything"; "there's nothing like being owned, kept by bees in a jelly mold"; "your pity sets the bar so white"; "there are no bold statements in my paradiddle"; "grow into your body happily"…) feature throughout this record - leaving you kinda reeling for another spin - in search of deeper meaning. But is it there? Does it matter? Its worth it for another dash of dirge-guitar and dirt.

Curses is post-punk, post-grunge, post-hardcore and post-post-rock at its potential height. It is a reassuring conundrum that there is not a skerrick of emo in the future of the left - just neanderthally simple, sophisticated yelps amongst a backdrop of avant-garde punk. Welcome to the future folks.

Album of the fucking year - if ever there was one.


"It's about something more than three guys coming onstage and yelling ‘Rock!' down the microphone”, explains FOTL's Andy Falkous. “I wouldn't want people to see three guys onstage and think that all that brought them here was guitars and disagreements with a variety of authority figures. There can be a fuller, rounder, slightly funny picture to it”.

Curses Track listing
1. The Lord Hates a Coward
2. Plague of Onces
3. Fingers Become Thumbs!
4. Manchasm
5. Fuck the Countryside Alliance
6. My Gymnastic Past
7. Suddenly it's a Folk Song
8. Kept by Bees
9. Small Bones Small Bones
10. Wrigley Scott
11. Real Men Hunt in Packs
12. Team:Seed
13. Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood
14. The Contrarian

No comments: