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Music Review: Future of the Left, 'The Plot Against Common Sense'
Future of the Left ‘The Plot Against Common Sense' (Xtra Mile)
Easily one of the funniest angry men in indie rock, Wales' Andy Falkous generated one of the great musical benchmarks of the past decade with his previous band, Mclusky. No question about it, 2002's “Mclusky Do Dallas” was the most hilarious record the Pixies never made, an album built from lacerating music and equally serrated wit that was custom-built for furious road trips and decibel therapy. After that band's demise, Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone formed Future of the Left with members of the fellow Cardiff band Jarcrew, and on FOTL's third album, “The Plot Against Common Sense,” Falkous feeds on outrages both commonplace and global — his anger gets directed as high as world leaders and as low as summer event movies.
Straight out of the gate, Falkous opens up a can of fire and lobs it at the marketers of indie music on “Sheena is a T-shirt Salesman,” then spins a pungently satirical story about a northern England town's unrealistic civic goals on “Failed Olympic Bid.” As a lyricist, Falkous does not waste space — his takedown of bourgeois protest culture on “Sorry Dad, I Was Late For the Riots” is chockablock with killer lines: “I'll enjoy a beverage from my penthouse flat in Kensington, and once again, I'll run with the wolves,” Falkous sings. As John Lydon once sang in a voice similar to Falkous' dulcet tones, “anger is an energy,” and Future of the Left is seemingly running on unlimited fuel here.
The go-to track on “The Plot Against Common Sense” is “Robocop 4 ...,” a full-bore attack on Hollywood decrying “middle-aged men on a movie date, committed to moral shame ... if Michael Bay wants a new house, let's help him!” Falkous is wrapping Primacord around a barrel of fish on “Robocop,” but he is so detailed in his hatred that it still feels sporting to watch him decimate an easy but deserving target. There is not a single delicate note to be heard on “The Plot Against Common Sense,” and while it does not reach the pure mania of “Mclusky Do Dallas,” Falkous and Future of the Left come within range.
— George Lang