Wales, and especially Cardiff, must be a noise wonderland. Kutosis, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club and a whole bag of other formidable noise rock bands originate there. As do Future of the Left, formed by two thirds of Mclusky’s final line up. “The Plot Against Common Sense” is their third album; after the departure of bassist, Kelson Mathias, Future of the Left recruited two new members, and as a quartet continue in their intelligent noise assault. From the weird and noisy (“Failed Olympic Bid”) to the driven anthemic (“Beneath the Waves an Ocean”) and even pure-bred punk rock (“Goals in Slow Motion”), they always manage to insert exceedingly melodious parts and intricate rhythm patterns. Andy Falkous’ lyrics still display his caustic, wry humor with a penchant for silly and quirky song titles. But he has one of my favorite voices and extremely catchy refrains are his forte, as on “Beneath the Waves an Ocean” (“No way you’ll ever find peace with the name they gave you”) or “Robocop 4 – Fuck Off Robocop” (“Robocop 4 is in pre-production / Like Robocop 3 wasn’t bad enough” – of course, even the Mighty Falco can err ... it’s not going to be RoboCop 4; it’ll be a remake, which is even worse than a sequel).
The synthesizer takes an even more prominent role in FotL’s sound than on their first two albums, but as with Mclusky, the fuzz bass rules the day (now played by the talented Julia Ruzicka). “City of Exploded Children” is probably the most beautiful track, while the engrossing “Polymers are Forever” was already released last year on the eponymous EP (together with 5 non-album tracks). “I am the Least of Your Problems” could have been on “Mclusky Do Dallas,” it’s an all-out, fuzzed-out noise attack. “Notes on Achieving Orbit” expands to epic proportions in feel and subject matter (not on the timescale, however), concerning itself with there being “no future / ... in terms of life on earth,” or rather: the hyping of any new shit as the next big thing, as illustrated by lines like, “Any old shit was the new Nirvana.” Future of the Left don’t let you down on their third album. In fact, I think it is their best effort to date – and “Curses” (2007) and “Travels with Myself and Another” (2009) were already amazing albums.