Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review: Future of the Left – Travels with Myself and Another

This week there is a plethora of great albums coming out which will be blogged about endlessly all over the internet including The Mars VoltaOctahedron, Dinosaur Jr.Farm, AlexisonfireOld Crows/Young Cardinals, The Dear HunterAct III: Life and Death, and Sunset RubdownDragonslayer. However, I am going to put the spotlight on one that has been flying well under the radar: Future of the LeftTravels with Myself and Another.

Future of the Left consists of singer/guitarist Andy "Falco" Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone, both previously of Cardiff band Mclusky. Anyone familiar with Mclusky will have a good starting point for the sound contained within this album. This includes the familiar vocal style and tongue-in-cheek lyrics of Falco as well as a similar punk rock atmosphere. The band is rounded off by bassist Kelson Mathias from the progressive rock band Jarcrew. Together, this trio has created some of the most beautifully aggressive music that you will ever hear. The band had set the bar pretty high with their 2007 release Curses but with Travels with Myself and Another, they easily one-up every aspect of that record.

"Arming Eritrea" sets the pace for the album with a crunchy stomp and sing-along lyrics full of in-jokes. The band shows that noise rock is capable of creating catchy singles with the irresistible "The Hope That House Built" which features a memorable chorus of "Come join come join our hopeless cause/come join come join our lost cause." Throughout the album, they bounce between driving rhythms and dissonant riffs resulting in great success and diverse song structures.

As with any album where Falco provides the vocals/lyrics, it's easy to find yourself actually laughing out loud especially with songs such as "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" and "Stand by Your Manatee." The former features some of their hardest hitting riffs supported by thick syrupy guitars amidst Falco's manic screams of "It doesn't smell like a man, it doesn't taste like a man, but does it fuck like a man? Does it? Does it? Fuck like a man!?" Thankfully, the band is aware that you don't have to be painfully serious to make great music. Let us not forget that Let It Be by The Replacements contained the song "Gary's Got A Boner" yet still remains an all time classic.

"Land of My Formers" has the most straightforward vocal melody which would be more evident if it wasn't backed by torrent of raucous guitars. Future of the Left wraps up the album with some acoustic guitars on "Lapsed Catholics". Don't expect an acoustic ballad, though. The acoustic guitars are simple used on the intro for the song to back Falco's on the spot lyrics and aimless rambling about prison escapes in the movies before exploding into one of the loudest moments on the record. Somehow this serves as a fitting end to their twisted brilliance.

4.5 / 5.0

RIYL: Jesus Lizard, Double Dagger, Les Savy Fav, Shellac

Check it out for yourself at the link below. As with anything I post on this site, I strongly encourage you to purchase the album if you like what you hear. Surely the band will appreciate it since they weren't too happy about the leak that occurred on April 22, 2009. I wouldn't want to get on their bad side; Falco sounds downright angry at times on this record and apparently he will kill you.


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