Sunday, 24 June 2012

Review: Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense

Once getting fully immersed into the musical world of Future of the Left, it's difficult to think of any recent music that is so rooted in scathing bitterness and grim wit as that which has been unleashed into the world of alternative rock by frontman and former frontman of seminal Welsh rockers Mclusky Andrew Falkous. Since the release of their second album Travels With Myself and Another, lineup changes that have introduced former members of Oceansize and Million Dead to join their ranks have bulked up the sound of their ever-stomping power, as seen on last year's Polymers Are Forever EP. Wether the promise of extra strength is really delivered on their third album The Plot Against Common Sense is a factor more questionable.

 Where there is strength found throughout the album isn't necessarily the music. Falkous has become a cult icon in modern music through his lyrical rants that are based either on bitterness, sarcasm, celebrity anecdotes and the occasional bit of total nonsense and once again, The Plot Against Common Sense sees him dive back in making scathing remarks about all kinds of topics negatively biting at our society be it regarding consumerism (Sheena is a T-Shirt Salesman) environmental problems (Polymers Are Forever) the state of art through the state of movies through Robocop 4 - Fuck Off Robocop, a song that talks of eight year old kids' desire to see explosions in all their films and refers to Billy Corgan appearing as the nemesis of the Harry Potter film series, which is pretty sweet.

 Musically, there is a lot of interesting moments to be found. While music of the album displays the band's ability to perform their alt rock music with a serious bite as riffs of a lo-fi crunch scale across deep-digging grungy basslines, the sort of grim atmosphere and sense of evil that rode upon the songwriting that made the music of Travels With Myself and Another a fun experience is removed and instead we simply ride upon hooks to achieve the main sense of musical pounce, as heard in Camp Cappuccino and I Am the Least of Your Problems.

 With the use of synthesizer backdrops making a drastic increase, with Cosmo's Ladder and Polymers Are Forever featuring backdrops akin to 8-bit video game soundtracks, there's less of an influence from grunge and classic rock acts and more of an influence leaning from the world of indie rock and 90s britpop, which is fine but one would prefer the closer leaning towards the scuzz filled riffs. Simply, there is a problem where the songs do stop to have truly standout moments.

 So, amongst all the statements from other reviewers that The Plot Against Common Sense is Future of the Left's strongest album so far, there is some debate. There is much strength attached to it. Falkous' lyrics reach a new level of awesome bitterness and you could listen to them all day and picture him making some kind of appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival sharing his thoughts to crowds through acoustic sets or in a Henry Rollins spoken word sort of way but musically, stronger performances have been heard.

Future of the Left's The Plot Against Common Sense is out now via Xtra Mile. The band will play at 2000trees Festival at Upcote Farm, Cheltenham in from 12-14 July, Truck Festival at Hill Farm, Steventon from 20-21st July, Tramlines Festival at Sheffield City Centre from 20-21st July, Off the Cuff Festival at The Flapper, Brimingham on 29th and Y Not Festival at aT Matlock on 5th August.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andy, just checking if you accept rock submissions for review consideration? I'd love to send some artists your way. Thanks for your time!