Release Date: Oct 21, 2013
Record label: Prescriptions
With last year’s great The Plot Against Common Sense, post-mcclusky noise quartet Future Of The Left reached their combined apex of wit and punk. Well, they’ve topped themselves with their latest release, the hilarious How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident. On their new one, Future Of The Left do what they do best. Their Pissed Jeans meets Art Brut aesthetic is as referential and rocking as ever, all the while the band jokes about upward mobility sans the self-seriousness of other bands who do the same.
The music industry is lying to you It is telling you that you are excited And you ARE excited And you ARE excited... From full frontal attacks on rushed reviews to dismay at how record companies have perceived and promoted them in the past, Future of the Left frontman Falco has always had a delicate relationship with the people who pass judgement on his band's output. Yet it seemed for a while like the loss of conventional label support and the ability to afford ample enough studio time was going to make a fourth album unlikely.
Review Summary: Hilarity ensues on the fourth album from noise rock originals.When inquired about the abundance of humour in his body of work, Future Of The Left's leader Andy Falkous stated that it's simply the result of “the personality of the band coming through naturally,” nailing what makes his outfit so unique in the first place. While other current acts are too worried about the constraints of rock music to exhibit their true selves, the Welsh four-piece delve head first into their preferences, fears and obsessions, revealing a hefty dose of bitter sarcasm in the process. This unrestrained approach expectedly propels the content of their fourth full-length How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident.
Future Of The Left have proven themselves to be, over seven years, three albums, a handful of EPs and a seemingly endless parade of incendiary live shows, one of the only truly individual, genuinely interesting, often absolutely excellent bands in the UK. Their new record is released in the light of leader, vocalist and songwriter Andrew Falkous’ recent marriage to bassist Julia Ruzicka (who used to have to put up with being in a band with Frank Fucking Turner), and it’s their most varied, challenging and unexpected release to date. Largely abandoning his by now-faithful Roland Juno-60 keyboard, Falko has reached for the guitar once more (complimenting the excellent and fuck-off aggressive lead player Jimmy Watkins) but this is no indication of an attempt to fit in with rock tradition.
So here it is: the stunning and unexpected return to top form of the UK’s most criminally underrated rock band. It’s a surprise, because not since their 2007 debut ‘Curses’ have Cardiff rockers Future Of The Left sounded this thrilling. Where last year’s disappointing third album ‘The Plot Against Common Sense’ was characterised by tongue-in-cheek silliness and fussy arrangements, the follow-up ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ is direct and heavy as hell – as it should be.
How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident, Future of the Left's fourth studio album, is built on political, pugilistic rage: The guitars hack and slash while the bass and drums pummel over every lyric. The thing that'll gall most Lefties is that this album is all but absent of synths, which lends an unrelenting aggression. This isn't an new move; although their last record had a handful of great keyboard moments—the glitchy noise of "Failed Olympic Bid", the electronic blasts of "Polymers Are Forever"—Future of the Left have been steadily moving away from the "synth" part of synth-punk for years now, refining the menace of the guitar/bass/drums setup.
A friend once called Mclusky, the Welsh post-hardcore band fronted by Andy "Falco" Falkous, current frontman for Welsh post-post-hardcore band Future of the Left, "too high school." It's a fair criticism. Mclusky - and to a lesser extent Future of the Left - managed to harness sarcastic adolescent anger. They're mad like you were mad in high school, when everything in the goddamned world seemed like parts of a broad conspiracy in place to piss you off.
Future of the Left are great. Their distinguished brand of visceral punk, anger-infused lyrics and sardonic wit is unmatched. They’ve carved for themselves a niche in British rock consciousness that has them standing alone – both musically and thematically. Few frontmen are as charismatic as Andy “Falco” Falkous, and certainly even fewer match the ferociousness of their on-stage persona when off it as well as him.And yet, as he rants – as the infamously angry (not so) young man does – in ‘Singing of the Bonesaws’, there’s something missing.
The one hundred percent price increase of a Freddo, the thumb-sized chocolate frog. The continued use of the phrase "winning" when nothing has in fact been won, apart from probably first place in a cunt contest. The swift decline of our friends the bees, the ecosystem-sustaining pollinators. Selfies.