Album Review: Future Of The Left – Travels With Myself And Another

June 23, 2009

Remember this face.

Concept: The second album for the second Mclusky, which is the closest you’ll get to a “real” living punk band that everyone could know about. In a world where the genreish movement is either dead or in hiding, the idea of punk is all about the blame game, and frontman Andy Falkous always plays to win.

Sound: A welcome point the band returns to with this album is that one never has to abandon a sense of melody to sound angry. The tunes might even translate well into an acoustic rendition this time around, but they’re constructed as self-conscious jingles, ringtones, advertisements, etc…not full-blown music. Imagine if Franz Ferdinand was not dried out by their hyperbolic association with postmodernism and did not have a mortal fear of showing enthusiasm.

Lyrics: Here’s the rub and pull of the album. Its appeal is parallel to that of ‘Eels’: despite occasional heavy-handedness and cliche, it’s spoken from the heart. That being said, this is the stylistic perversion and emotional antithesis. Mark Everett might pick you up with a shrug, and so Falco expects to drag you down with a grin. Each tiny track is saturated with professional grade slogans of criticism and slippery, hopeless cultural reference, altogether intent on shameless, aimless, message-less cynical humor. FOTL stay in their own skin because they’re quite certain they would be completely uncomfortable no matter what they did.

Quick And Dirty: The boys are still waiting on some masterpiece CD, but they’re already more than stocked for one of the greatest ‘Greatest Hits’ collections ever, and after five albums the punches just keep on coming. They know a thing or two about commercial chin music. (♦♦♦♦)

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