Future of the Left
The Plot Against Common Sense


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
June 9th, 2012 | 93 replies | 8,724 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A biting dissection of modern society and popular culture.

Cardiff-based Future Of The Left have set themselves an immensely high standard to live up to with 2009's impeccable Travels With Myself And Another. The album, which overflew with wretched, expertly executed noise rock, provided a rapid adrenaline boost in the increasingly stagnant rock scene. The group found the ideal balance between raw energy and a healthy dose of hooks making their distinct style both punishing and undeniably infectious. Fast forward to 2012 which showcases Future Of The Left as a totally different band. Bassist Kelson Mathias' pummelling bass lines have been replaced by Julia Ruzicka's throbbing play, while Jimmy Watkins introduces more melody and texture into the act's trademark buzz saw tone of guitars. These two new members complement the combative drumming of Jack Egglestone and routinely furious vocals of Andrew “Falco” Falkous bringing a new layer to the sound of an already mature band.

While clearly borrowing plenty of aesthetics from the band's previous two discs, The Plot Against Common Sense holds its influences all over the place trading a monolithic noise rock onslaught into an impressively diverse presentation. Thus, angular assault of “Sheena is a T-shirt Salesman” and “Camp Cappuccino” is merged with industrialized playfulness of synthesizers-laden “Failed Olympic Bid” and danceable “Cosmo's Ladder.” The quartet also fully embraces their pop sensibilities packing the majority of songs with some truly deranged hooks. Mellowed-out “City Of Exploded Children” revolves around a glorious folk melody and chanting vocals to startling effect, while equally entertaining “Goals In Slow Motion” is a splendidly jaded attempt at an indie rock anthem. Elsewhere, the act's increasingly evident passion for minimalist electronica results in a genuinely disturbing, hissing keys-laden tune in “A Guide To Men.”

On top of this newly acquired musical flexibility, there are brilliantly caustic lyrics written by Falco who has a knack for capturing the most lamentable aspects of popular culture and emotionally substandard lives of others in an ostentatiously hilarious, sarcastic manner. He aptly observes that Sheena, who was once considered a symbol of punk rock, is reduced to a meaningless slogan now; rages against shallow celebrity culture and even takes a stab at trend-obsessed fashion magazine's readership (“Cosmo's Ladder”). Infectiously groovy “Sorry Dad, I Was Late For The Riots” deals with trustafarians posing as anarchists, whereas discordant “Robocop 4: *** Off Robocop” is a sardonic spin on various film franchises boasting such peculiar lines as: at least Harry Potter has a proper story/in the sense that the characters crave an ending/if (only) to release poor Billy Corgan/from his role as the titular character's nemesis. As the record progresses, the subject matter gets arguably more serious. Aside from the suggestion that the world might be ruled by unholy emperor penguins, “A Guide To Men” serves as a scathing critique of modern civilization concluded bluntly: this is a song about common sense folded backwards into itself.

Even when his outcome may be bitter in the end, Falco never ceases to ingrain all songs with enough spiteful humour and surreal urban poetry to make them both engrossing and relatable. Perhaps even more than on his previous endeavours with much loved McLusky, he emerges here as a singular voice of generation providing as much food for thought in his timely social observations as in the music itself. Although The Plot Against Common Sense may not be as musically focused as its predecessor, it certainly makes the most of its sheer word wizardry on display. This, being combined with daring, frequently dissonant arrangements, makes for a unique album that will definitely rank among the best rock releases of the year.



Recent reviews by this author
Kimbra The Golden EchoDog Fashion Disco Sweet Nothings
So Slow DharaviMastodon Once More ‘Round the Sun
Fire! Orchestra Enter!Ought More Than Any Other Day
user ratings (141)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Joseph Viney STAFF (4.5)
We're all doomed. Deal with it...


Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Here's the stream:

http://www.spin.com/articles/stream-future-lefts-ferocious-plot-against-common-sense

...and an awesome video for sheena is a t-shirt salesman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcD2cqNT1bQ

Digging: Hilltop Hoods - Walking Under Stars

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. Album is awesome.

Geist
June 9th 2012


371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

With every listen I laugh at poor Ian Cohen and his myopic musical purview.

jefflebowski
June 9th 2012


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i was gonna review this, but this is almost certainly better written

fantastic album, though maybe 1 or 2 tracks too long

Digging: Brian Eno and Karl Hyde - High Life

DoubtGin
June 9th 2012


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

disappointing galore

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah. Pitchfork was right for the first time. No... Wait... They weren't...

LifeAsAChipmunk
June 9th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds like something I'd really like.

camaraderie
June 9th 2012


988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck Pitchfork.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really tempted to go and see them on Monday.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@jefflebowski:
Which 2 tracks would you get rid of? For me, it'd be hard to decide, but admittedly I prefer Travels... to this one.

Thanks a bunch to whoever pos'd.



jefflebowski
June 9th 2012


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

hard to say, it just feels a little bit long overall - probably cosmo's ladder and a guide to men. not that they're bad tracks, but they seem a bit superfluous

i also prefer travels to this, but only because travels is borderline classic

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Guide to Men is one of my faves actually. Cosmo's Ladder is super catchy. I guess whoever you'd ask, their opinion would differ. For me, Rubber Animals is the only track that is marginally not that great... and Polymers seems a bit overlong.

TheNotrap
June 9th 2012


8065 Comments


Enjoyable review, have a pos.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012


7386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot dude. I have no idea if metal fans will enjoy it, but feel free to give it a cursory spin. The link's above.

LifeAsAChipmunk
June 9th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Where can I find this guys?

TheNotrap
June 9th 2012


8065 Comments


Will check it asap.

LifeAsAChipmunk
June 9th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mean other than the first track.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012


31146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome stuff (review and album)

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Archelaos
June 9th 2012


241 Comments


Holy shit this album is great (and totally not what I was expecting). Great work on the review! The summary is perfect.

LifeAsAChipmunk
June 9th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, the band rocks (from what I've heard). I still need to find the rest of this album though.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy