Release Date: Apr 8, 2016
Record label: Prescriptions
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Let’s just throw this out now: Andrew Falkous has NOT, contrary to Ian Cohen’s prediction, become a willfully delirious lunkhead. Now that I’m planted my flag in a camp, may I introduce you to the new world from Future of the Left. It’s been a while since the deviant How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident, but the landscape hasn’t warped that much since the Mclusky days – two-ton grooves gouge holes in yr skull, rhythm and meter shift like the choreography in a kung fu fight scene.
The subject of a Pledge Music campaign that reached its funding target within three and a half hours, the latest Future Of The Left album is, according to the press release “once again, their best one yet” – a statement perhaps not quite as ridiculous as it is facetious. Delivering truly fearsome bottom-end from the outset, the band dispense fuzz-woven mischief like a fat Fugazi. Opening track If AT&T Drank Tea, What Would BP Do? is a sharp lesson in rhythmic thuggery overlaid with astringent siren-screech guitar, while the track Grass Parade is evocative of how it might feel to run down an extremely steep hill in thick rubber trousers.
Leave it to Future of the Left to call some of their most uncompromising music in years a truce. Perhaps the 'mclusky' reunion -- which found FOTL bassist Julia Ruzicka and the St. Pierre Snake Invasion's Damien Sayell playing alongside Andy Falkous and Jack Egglestone for a handful of dates -- reinvigorated them. Maybe it was the fact that they were able to crowdfund their fifth album within a matter of hours.
When Future Of The Left first appeared, they seemed to be a somewhat more tuneful, hook laden version of the band that spawned them, Mclusky. Over the years however, FOTL has started to drift into harder and darker territory. Whether crowdfunding their last couple of releases has released them from the shackles of expectation is anyone’s guess (although it’s hard to believe there’s ever been much compromise and restraint where Andy Falkous is concerned), but they’re now a far leaner, meaner and more aggressive proposition than the band that recorded Curses.
“The proper music abounds,” sneer Future of the Left on their fifth album, taking potshots at the tedium of 'authenticity' while barrel-rolling between jagged slabs of math-centric post-hardcore and spacious Pixies surf. They’re here for your culture, and their merciless approach is as sharp as frontman Falco’s acid tongue. “Add another finger to your English breakfast / You army surplus motherfucker,” he spits on Eating For None – another takedown in a blur of painfully funny non-sequiturs and prescient satirical portraits.
‘The Peace & Truth of Future of the Left’ is a rawer, leaner and filthier sound. A gut-trembling rumble echoes throughout the whole album and the group have never sounded tighter, or more like a band for that matter. Jack Egglestone’s inventive, bludgeoning drumming dominates while Julia Ruzicka’s bass brings that robotic dark dingy funk. They work in tandem with tempos shifting as buzzsaw guitars slice through, with Falco’s scabrous vocals swinging from spoken word to unearthly snarling growl.
The Peace and Truce of Future of the Left is a beautifully demanding album, an album that is undoubtedly a product of its times. Conceived in an age of general disillusionment it does more than complain, it acts as a vehicle to guard against the apathy that seems to be spreading through the millennial generation like wildfire. The lyrics are pointed, as they always are with Future of the Left, but at no point do they become preachy or pontificating, while the music is forceful enough to not only emphasise the message on each and every song but to also drive those messages quite emphatically home.
I often find myself wondering, in the event of an apocalypse, which musicians would die and which ones would survive? According toThe Postman, Tom Petty would make it. Not only that — he’d be the goddamn mayor. But the movie’s got it all wrong. If any musician was to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, it’d be Andrew Falkous.
Nothing: The Incredible Sulk. Emma Johnston on new releases from Nothing, The Joy Formidable, Future Of The Left, Broncho and Mogwai Nothing: Tired Of Tomorrow There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned mope as we start heading into the warmer months, and right now, no one is getting their sulk on with quite so much style as Philadelphia’s Nothing, as they prove on their accomplished second album, Tired Of Tomorrow. This, in case you were wondering, is a compliment.