Future of The Left – The Plot Against Common Sense (Xtra Mile)

With the release of their third studio album Welsh noise-bastards Future of the Left have taken more of a detour than might be obvious on first listening; clearly the Ghost of Albini Past looms large, whether it be the ‘Jesus-Christ-these-drums-are-in-my-bedroom’ production, or the sonic-filth legacy of Big Black; however, underneath this lies a wakening pop sensibility and dare-I-say a more playful humour.

Released Jun 20th, 2012 via Xtra Mile Recordings / By Henry Bainbridge
Future of The Left – The Plot Against Common Sense (Xtra Mile) Don’t panic though, it’s buried within enough savage riffing and twisted lyrical play to keep the most die hard Mcluskyophile happy.

Album opener ‘Sheena is a T-shirt Salesman’ offers a heroic dose of aggression to kick off proceedings with the raw power of Jack Egglestone’s drumming demonstrating how he’s maintained his spot in a band that’s endured it’s fair share of reshuffles in the past 5 years. Egglestone’s solid contribution throughout the record underscores one of the more prominent developments in the band’s sound. Tracks such as ‘Failed Olympic Bid’, ‘Beneath the Waves an Ocean’ and ‘Polymers are Forever’ ooze a confident swagger and it appears that FOTL are steadily unearthing a violent groove that has been working its way into the previous studio outings.

Singer Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous’s previous incarnation as front man for Mclusky has followed him like an awkward shadow over the last few years and this record sees a level of comfort returning with a resurgence of his inventive lyrical humour, which has been inconsistent over the previous two outings, and a stronger vocal performance with more attention given to production, arrangement and harmony.

Perhaps most surprising is the exploration into psychedelic pop which surfaces on ‘City of Exploded Children’ as vocal parts weave over snare rolls and droning synthesizer. While the forums of Noise-Rock purists will probably balk at this, they’ll conveniently forget the early Falco output of ‘Flysmoke’ and ‘Here Comes Joe’. Pop music has always been a larger part of the man’s song-writing than given credit for and the fact is that now FOTL are not growing away from their roots they’re growing up as a band.

So, where does this sit in the FOTL canon? It’s hard to tell at present, FOTL albums have a habit of sneaking up as classics whilst your ears get familiar with/surrender to the wall of sound. However, what is clear is that this is no longer the sound of a band wrestling with past glories but that of a forward-looking collective taking tentative strides out into the future noise wilderness.

Catch them at festivals you’ve never heard of throughout the summer.