album review
Future Of The Left - The Plot Against Common Sense
7.5
Label: Xtra Mile
Release Date: Monday, June 11, 2012
Writer: Adam Taylor
The Plot Against Common Sense is Future of the Left’s third full offering, following 2007’s joyous debut Curses, and 2009’s well-received and acclaimed Travels with Myself and Another. Between the latter two releases they lost bass player and founder member Kelson Mathias (previously singer with the criminally underrated Jarcrew), gained guitarist Jimmy Watkins, and then recruited bassist Julia Ruzicka (formerly of Million Dead). Losing one and gaining two seems to have had little negative impact on the band’s plans, in fact it seems to have opened things up a little – where before tracks might switch between being synth led or guitar orientated, it now seems there’s plenty of room for symbiotic coexistence. What hasn’t changed, perhaps fittingly, is the unrelenting juggernaut bass bombardment that propels, and has powered, much of the band’s work to date. Also there, as always, are Andy Falkous’ possibly trademark and “it-wouldn’t-be-them-without-them” lyrics . Approaching from the psych-end of the surreal, arguably his most evocative, lurid, and entertaining on record, Falkous takes real time and joy in not only the language used, but also in the rhythm and meter of delivery and again, as always, it’s done to wonderful effect.

So, essentially, there’s no mistaking that this is a Future of the Left album and, whilst they have happily settled at their own stylistic blueprint, what makes this release as interesting as previous efforts is that that formula is by no means formulaic – from start to finish its an album that weaves, thrills, builds and relents through roller-coaster variety and stream-of-consciousness delivery, joyously rocketing through the opening tracks, slowing through “City of exploded children”, showing hardcore influences on “Goals in slow motion” and “I am the least of your problems”, and their own brand of schizo-frantic post-punk honk on “Camp cappuccino” and rumination on civility “A guide to men”. “Anchor” brilliantly buzzes with jagged and sometimes disjointed electro-friction whilst “Beneath the waves an ocean” builds on a similar fuzz before breaking wide-open with clarity. Likewise does stand-out (and title-track from preceding EP) “Polymers are forever” with its brief beautiful 2nd half chanted breakdown gasp for air outro (which can be seen in all its glory here). All-told it’s a thoroughly enjoyable ride.