Future of the Left
The Plot Against Common Sense


4.5
superb

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
June 13th, 2012 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We're all doomed. Deal with it

In a world gone mad there are many easy targets: the economy, weak governments, bloated consumerism, Sputnik’s users and much more besides. Andrew Falkous and his bandmates in both Future Of The Left (FotL) and his former group Mclusky have utilised abstract thought, words and instrumentation in an attempt to understand and convey their personal thoughts and the wider world around them. In other words, they’re clever people. People like this are misunderstood frequently and easily. Pitchfork squeezed out a typically piss-poor review of this record, the author displaying as much adherence to the concept of critical analysis as a dead wolf. He missed the point to an embarrassing degree. Indeed, he missed the point so much it drew a stinging rebuke from Falkous in the form of a blog post, to many people’s amusement.

…but with a record called The Plot Against Common Sense, surely it’s asking to be analysed with an academic fervour? With tracks named “Sheena Is A T-Shirt Salesman”, “Failed Olympic Bid” and “Sorry Dad, I Was Late For The Riots” you’re putting your neck on the line and trying to pin down the counter culture zeitgeist, wrapping up a nation’s collective image and perceptions at that point in time. Right?

Well, erm, maybe. FotL have already stated on Twitter that “Sorry Dad, I Was Late For The Riots” isn’t about morons like Otis Ferry and Charlie Gilmour; white, dreadlocked and with a misguided sense of social justice. In essence, it’s as much about these people as “Arming Eritrea” from their last LP is about…well, arming Eritrea.

It makes this reviewing lark difficult for people like us. Sure, I could sit here and say something vague about how the bassline on “Beneath The Waves Of An Ocean” is superb in its simplicity and tone (which it really is). I could also sit here and say that “Sheena Is A T-Shirt Salesman” ‘is one of the most exciting and addictive songs I’ve heard for years’ (Oh…I just did). Certainly, it’s their most accessible record both musically and lyrically, and ideally the catalyst for wider recognition for a group that actually really, really, really deserve it. When you write review after review about bands and records you might not even care about, it’s hard to contain your excitement when a group with brains, steels and balls give you something to listen to. Over-excitement can lead to misinterpretation. Pitchfork’s reviewer was struck down with a case of cynicalbitterhackitis, so he’s the exception to the rule.

For example, their take on this record concluded that “Robocop 4 – F*ck Off Robocop” is a complete misfire and unfunny. Sure, music criticism is subjective but our man here has it plain WRONG. Billy Corgan being cast as a villain in a fictional Harry Potter film isn’t rubbish. It’s funny and scarily feasible. “Sheena Is A T-Shirt Salesman” is (has to be?) a barbed comment on the remorseless rape and desecration of punk’s corpse; Clash, Ramones and Pistols shirts now being worn by a bunch of Nathan Barleys, dribbling airhead fashionistas, who think “Blitzkrieg Bop” is a type of energy drink. “Camp Cappuccino” could be about the proliferation of coffee culture that has so lazily slithered into our lives. Maybe it isn’t, but we wouldn’t begrudge Falkous the notion that is actually is.

…and this is what makes the album such an interesting document. We live in an age wherein reality frequently trumps satire. Instead of filing reports from an alternate universe, Falkous is now speaking from a mere parallel world. We can relate to these odes to madness, unease and frustration. We finally know what the hell he’s on about! That’s us! Forget your black metal and all that other bombastic crap, THIS is the real soundtrack to the apocalypse. It’s one that we’re all gratefully sliding towards slowly and perpetually.



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user ratings (141)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Greg Fisher STAFF (4.5)
A biting dissection of modern society and popular culture....


Comments:Add a Comment 
JViney
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2012


322 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tried something a little different here. I felt Greg Fisher did very well on his review, so I just spoke my mind a little more than usual this time. Enjoy!

Geist
June 13th 2012


371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review, more concept-focused than content-focused. It complement's Mr. Fisher's take rather than competes with it.

Though the last sentence doesn't sit well with me. It could do with a comma.

Yotimi
June 13th 2012


6506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beneath the Waves an Ocean is phenomenal

Digging: Chrome Sparks - Goddess

robin
Emeritus
June 13th 2012


4249 Comments


first viney 4.5 of all time?

Tyrael
June 13th 2012


20885 Comments


this is sweeeet

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

DoubtGin
June 13th 2012


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol

SeaAnemone
June 13th 2012


20376 Comments


Sigh.... I wish so badly that this band was still McLusky but I guess I should give this a quick spin anyways

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2012


7397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man. You nailed it too.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Tyrael
June 13th 2012


20885 Comments


Wow greg when did you become contrib lol

Acorn
June 13th 2012


11 Comments


This is a 4 for me so far, really good

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2012


7343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna get this tomorrow. Great review!

Perzon
June 14th 2012


1 Comments


Hello. This review is the only one I've read, anywhere, that manages to nail the exact strange qualities that elevate this album above FotL's other work. It's rare to see a review tackle things that are so tricky to nail down and describe, and I'm really impressed by it. Sincerely, some guy.

KageUsagi
June 14th 2012


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is amazing but I can't decide between a 4.5 and a 5.

chambered49
June 14th 2012


1727 Comments


i love this review im a check this out

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2012


6457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sheena is such a cool track

Digging: Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

mechatanner
June 16th 2012


269 Comments


Hmmm really going to have to check out...

ThyCrossAwaits
June 17th 2012


3053 Comments


I read this on the day I drove through Cardiff (Wales, where these guys are from) and then magically found a copy in a Dublin HMV. Hot damn.

cryMore
June 21st 2012


469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Where were you when Russel Brand discovered fire?

Geist
June 22nd 2012


371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Did you join with the crowds at Trafalgar square and watch on the giant screen?

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2012


7126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"their take on this record concluded that “Robocop 4 – F*ck Off Robocop” is a complete misfire and unfunny. Sure, music criticism is subjective but our man here has it plain WRONG."

Gotta agree with this. I just finished my first listen and the whole thing was killer but this track especially was just plain awesome.



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