By Future Of The Left
"C'mon Rick, I'm not a prize!" Andrew 'Falko' Falkous screams as the Welsh band's sophomore effort thunders into being, and the sound of a band keen to throw off labels harking back to previous groups (see Mclusky. Or rather, don't do anything until 'Travels...' finishes) simply doesn't stop. For the next half an hour or so of your life, Future Of The Left will force down your ears twelve of the most organised, chaotic, inspired, innovative and insightful tracks you will hear this year.
Between the end of opener 'Arming Eritrea,' and 'Chin Music,' there is time for two drumbeats before Kelson Mathais' thundering bass crashes back onto the record. Even the slower 'The Hope That House Built' and 'You Need Satan More Than He Needs You' are epically heavy, never mind the likes of the frantic 'Land Of My Formers' or 'I Am Civil Service.' Tracks that make you want to ring up ten of your friends, turn your stereo up as loud as it will go, and trash your house for the hell of it. Then go and start a revolution. Even closer 'Lapsed Catholics,' which begins with various loops of an acoustic (yes, acoustic) guitar, manages to evolve into possibly the heaviest riff on the record.
Then you listen again (and you will) and you begin to realise the exquisiteness of Falko's lyrics; they hold their own against the critically acclaimed of his generation. He is just as witty, just as insightful, and the fact that 'Travels...' doesn't even come close to focusing on them makes them, and the album as a whole, even more brilliant. From the pained "I only hit him 'cos he made me crazy/I only hit him 'cos he made me mad" in 'Chin Music' to the perceptive "rationalise your own revolution, it can be easily compressed, without the young and the desperate, there won't be anyone left" in 'That Damned Fly.'
It doesn't matter what you've heard before, 'Travels...' is cleverer, sharper and rocks harder. Issues surrounding African revolutions, Rupert Murdoch and Satan worship swirl through the air throughout the course of this stunningly astute record. Just over thirty minutes of pure brilliance that will undoubtedly be roundly ignored by the majority of those who get to voice their opinions. "Come join our lost cause" Future Of The Left chant on 'The Hope That House Built.' I'm there in an instant.