Artist: Future of the Left
Label: Too Pure
Perhaps one of the few decent things to come out of Wales, Mclusky were a noisy bunch of loudmouth bastards who probably didn’t know how to play their instruments and were absolutely completely full of themselves. It’s just as well then that they were fucking awesome, and came to their demise criminally early.
Since then things have been pretty quiet, and it came as quite a surprise to me that the remaining Mclusky boys, Andrew Falkous and Jack Eggleston had combined forces with ex-Jarcrew member Kelson Mathias and released Future of the Left’s debut album sneakily late last year.
Curses, whether a comment on the stop start nature of working in a band, or just the band’s comprimise to avoid printing every swear word they know on the front cover (I wouldn’t put it past them) takes the grooves of Mclusky and takes them a step forward, creating a collection of pure jump up and down tunes that leave you bouncing like a spacehopper on coke.
If you’re familiar with Mclusky at all (and if I haven’t made it clear enough already, you really should go say hello to their 3CD best of set, Mcluskyism) then you’ll be glad to hear that Falkous hasn’t lost his snarling lyrical voice that sneers as each line is either uttered or screamed. It’s all rather shouty, but it never becomes angry for the sake of it, and Falkous is more than aware of the power of variation, playing about with some amazing backing vocals that really fill out songs such as ‘Suddenly it’s a Folk Song’.
He also prooves himself more than adapt at taking the forefront with the guitar, providing a plethora of different riffs and styles that keep the album moving at a blisteringly fast pace and never once sounding like you’ve heard it all before.
Not meaning to go on about Falkous, another special mention has to be made for Eggleston’s frenetic drumming that somehow manages to keep up pace. One great example is the plundering banging that comes crashing in like a waterfall of barrels on first single ‘adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood’ pounding its way into your head, as if Donkey Kong himself has decided your skull is to be his new musical instrument.
I’m yet to see FOTL yet, but I’ve heard they put on an ear shattering show.
There are some interesting ideas played about that really deviate from that Mclusky sound, and are a clear effect of the influence that all this nu-rave shit has had on the boys. Keys float about on most of the songs, and in some are the driving force of the melody, and despite being a risky mood they pull it off, once again adapting the influence of another genre for their own benefit, instead of adapting themselves around the genre.
And then, in the true piss taking style of Falkous and co. it all closes on a completely different sound. Note to Frank Turner and Billy Howerdel, and other bands who decide to close on a sombre piano piece – this is how you do it. The chimes of the twinkling piano completely stop the record dead in it’s tracks, and instead of shouting Falkous is now mumbling into the microphone, with phrases such as “I walked through that door, and embraced it all” that creates a ‘My Way’ for the 21st Century generation.
Curses is a speeding train of an album. It doesn’t heed any warning signals, and it follows the tracks all the way until it eventually crashes into a grand piano. It’s brilliant for playing out loud at a party, or just putting on in the car to cheer you up on the way to work. What’s more, it’s a happy, powerful album that doesn’t take itself seriously, and definetely demands to be played as loud as possible.