If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention, or so the saying goes, and by that standard, Future of the Left frontman Andy Falkous could never be accused of lacking focus. Album four from the Cardiff alt-rock quartet sees the former Mclusky man angrier than ever, and – given it’s a fan-funded, self-released effort – free to heap vitriol on all manner of subjects and people. Amid sludgy, demented bass-lines and angular guitar riffs he takes aim at record companies, consumerism, television, and property prices, before saving a special mention for a certain Razorlight singer on ‘Johnny Borrell Afterlife’. While it’s pretty much business as usual in terms of lyrical content, there’s experimentation in the form of country-rock closer ‘Why Aren’t I Going To Hell?’ and more than a hint of new-wave pop on ‘The Real Meaning of Christmas’, while ‘The Male Gaze’ could even be called catchy. Listening to song after song of an angry man ranting can wear thin, but How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident is the perfect antidote to manufactured pop.
This third album from alt-rockers Future of the Left sees the Welsh band branching out in exciting new ways and expanding their sound; so much so that it could almost be called a breakthrough. Despite being comprehensively trashed by Pitchfork – a review that earned a fierce rebuttal from singer-guitarist Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous on the band’s website – this synth-infused album full of ominous post-hardcore riffs and dark subject matter seems set to earn them a heap of new fans. The addition of a fourth member in Melbourne’s Julia Ruzicka on bass sees the band fattening their sound and exploring new sonic avenues, while Falco’s lyrics are as sarcastic as ever; “I have looked into the future, everyone is slightly older” on ‘Cosmo’s Ladder’ being the best example. He can be found having a pop at Johnny Depp, Billy Corgan, Russell Brand and Chumbawamba at various points, and clearly really means it. On a side note, there are also some of the best song titles around today: ‘Sheena Is A T-shirt Salesman’, ‘Sorry Dad, I Was Late For The Riots’ and ‘Robocop 4 – Fuck Off Robocop’ being the most interesting. Closer ‘Notes On Achieving Orbit’ is the perfect way to finish, its hugely abrasive riffs and Falco’s throaty screaming making sure the album finishes on a high. At fifty minutes it’s probably a touch on the long side, and the less said about the production the better, but overall this is undoubtedly Future of the Left’s best album to date. (Remote Control Records)