The fact Jarcrew split in 2005 was a blow. Having mclusky go at the same time was like finding your girlfriend in bed with your brother. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. From the ashes rises a new phoenix in the form of Future of the Left, featuring Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous, Jack Egglestone (mclusky) and Kelso Mathias (Jarcrew).
It won’t surprise you to know that much of Future of the Left’s sound is indeed constructed from that humble bass guitar. The over-powering and thunderous nature of this four-stringed instrument is the very spine of the Welsh trio’s sound. With “Curses‘ Future of the Left have taken the battered by sturdy mclusky template and revamped it into something new – combined with the grating bass/distorted guitar attack and the custard-thick drum beats, is a sense of joyful optimism, black comedy, songs about cats and of course, the odd keyboard flourish.
Opener ‘The Lord Hates a Coward‘, is enough to make any listener feel pangs of discomfort. It chugs and grinds like the cogs of some irrepressible mangling machine, whilst the wailing shrieks from Falco only add to the trepidation. “Violence she solved everything!” he states, quite matter-of-factly as if the very notion of domestic abuse is something as everyday as doing the dishes or going to work. It ends in a flourish of furious riffage, akin to that of guitar-heavy maestros, Drive Like Jehu.
‘Fingers Become Thumbs‘ bounces along at an uneven jaunt, sounding like the song everyone sings at closing time in the local boozer. Despite the dark undertone of the lyrics: “we’re not alive, we’re not alive” It’s perhaps one of the cheeriest tracks on the album and certainly the most accessible to those feeling any anxiety about the album’s sudden and slightly intimidating opening.
The somewhat Brass Eye humour of FOTL’s sound appears in the form of ‘Manchasm‘, which (as well as referencing disgraced politician Mark Foley,) is an amusing ode to Falco’s cat, Colin (“Colin is a pussy, a very pretty pussy” anyone?) This is further followed by the sinister sounds of ‘Fuck the Countryside Alliance‘ which appears both anti-conservative (“Tories, Tories, thanks for the Tories; you sleep with devils”) and pro-farming! Good news for me really as my father (Mad Mac) is in the agriculture industry!
The keyboards on ‘Suddenly It’s A Folk Song‘ punctuate through the low-end, guitar/bass noise with such ease; whilst the track itself bounces along like a Welsh-Foo Fighters (when they were good) pop-rock masterpiece. In a similar vein, the superbly named ‘Wrigley Scott’ bounces along with cheerful contempt; its lyrics describe the friendship between a wizard called Woody, his elf companion, Janie and their fondness for meat products. Ahem. Completely barmy but always amusing.
‘Real Men Hunt In Packs‘ is the disgruntled office workers anthem. Caustic and biting; it vents enough anger and hate-filled bile that should suit anyone having nightmares about the ‘printer cartridge out of line‘ error message. Take the line “ninety nine gut-wrenching minutes of misery, seven pica-seconds of letting you go” for instance. Falco spits the tracks title like battery acid, his disgust resolute over the rumbling, fuzzed out guitars.
‘adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood’ contains the kind of bass-guitar line that most drone bands would quite happily sacrifice 100 of their deaf fans for. It rumbles like the empty belly of a severely under-nourished dragon and is book-ended by the quite excellent “roll on….roll on….” chant, and the punk rock breakdown, completed by Falco’s scream of “throw your heart on the cordon!” which is only just heard over Egglestone’s skull-crushing drumming. It’s a tight and extremely tense attack that is only softened by piano-led album closer, ‘The Contrarian.’
In short, “Curses‘ is a well constructed, scathing and a hilariously-riotous musical package. Future of the Left have created an impressively aggressive collection of songs; a fine debut and one that should see them in the top 10 album category at the end of the year. Not bad for 3 Welsh boyos, eh?
To listen to ‘adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood‘ click below!