Album Review: Future of the Left-How to Stop Your Brain In An Accident

ImageFuture of the Left are the kind of band that both crush your mind like a trash compactor, and make you a smarter person for it. Listening to Falco’s lyrics is like reading poetry from an anarchist Shakespeare, or Jim Goad. It’s offensive, obtuse and in case you didn’t get it the first time,really fucking offensive. But at the same time, one feels like they are compelled to agree with Falco, maybe through sheer charisma, maybe through the black comedy, maybe because he’s actually right about all the stuff that he talks about. And he does talk about a lot. In ‘How to Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ alone, Future of the Left take aim at religion, capitalism, record company greed, contemporary culture, superficiality, big business, sexuality, the traditional male stereotype….the list goes on. For some, it might seem like an exhausting task to write down even a few of the things that piss you off, but for Future of the Left, it’s just business as usual. And in case there wasn’t enough irony already, Future of the Left are really fucking good at business.

‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ is easily Future of the Left’s best record, and that is quite an accomplishment. For a band renowned for creating some of the most ear-shredding material available to man, to go from blistering track to blistering track, and still retain a genuinely diverse sound, Future of the Left surely have outdone themselves. Songs on the record exchange moments like Justin Timberlake exchanges blowjobs for singles, switching from the bitter, to the cynical, to the forlorn and enraged. Moving between tracks feels like falling down a giant funnel, going from a wide open idea previously, and suddenly being shoved through a tight, compressed space that you have to get used to all over again. It’s a disconcerting experience, but it’s unique and unconventional, something Future of the Left have always been, but never to this degree of power.

The first four songs of this album are better than any pop-punk band with a number tacked onto the end of their name could wet-dream of. Individually, these songs are bombastic, but together, they form a bond more powerful than the kids in Captain Planet. ‘Bread, Cheese, Bow & Arrow’ makes like Satan gargling rocks, a determinedly evil song that combines a stop-start belting with Falco’s vocal switching between Hannibal-the-Cannibal-pyschoanalysis and the grunt of a serial killer before he brings an axe down on your head. The follow-up ‘Johhny Borrell Afterlife’ is a thinly-veiled tearing apart of Johnny Borrell and his big head (literally), the frontman from Razorlight who sold an astonishing 594 copies of his debut solo record. However, the song also stands for all the bullshit, private school self-indulgence that most have come to observe as one of the most disdainful things in the universe. ‘Future Child Embarrassment Matrix’ announces itself with little subtlety, a maelstrom of instruments and the screaming of ‘Her cock is so hard! Her aim is true! I hear that when she comes, she comes enough for two!’. Now that, that’s fucking poetry. Oscar Wilde would probably stop his post-death gay orgy to shed a tear or two. The fourth and final song to make your head dissipate all the shit it’s been fed as of late is ‘The Male Gaze’, a song that shifts from Future of the Left beating the listener to an enjoyable death, to a slightly less bash-worthy track. There’s still the intensity there of staring down Mike Tyson from a distance of five metres, but there’s a little less anger, even a couple ooo’s in there. Don’t be confused and think this is a doo-woop, because there’s still a hefty criticism of the traditional male form, but it was nice of the band to slow down the onslaught for just a second right?

Although the first four tracks are on the same level of awesome as having Sid Vicious resurrected for a day and watching him indulge in all the new drugs that have been invented since the 80’s, the shining moment comes in the form of a monologue. Yes, a monologue, like the one’s in plays n shit, but this isn’t your average high school production. And if it was, I would pay endless amounts of money to gain access to such a play. ‘Singing of the Bonesaws’ is  a vicious, cut-throat dissection of popular culture and the music industry, and its a no holds barred cage match of the most brutal proportions. All kinds of weird and fucked up metaphors are put on display here, but hands down the favourite is MTV’s newest show, which is Kim Kardashian being chased by a bear that…I don’t want to ruin it for you, because the execution of it is too awesome, but let’s just say everyone dies a very graphic death.

Hopefully, the scope of how fucking great of an album Future of the Left have made is coming to fruition in your mind, as the rest of the album progresses in the unhinged manner so sophisticatedly barbaric. I won’t go into it, but every song is as demonic and curse’d to fuck with your conception of normality as the previous tracks I have described. ‘How to Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ is the best Future of the Left album because it never slows, never apologises and never regrets a single thing it does, no matter how gruesome, disgusting and politically incorrect one can get. For those that think Arcade Fire deserve to be ruined by hellfire every time they play, and have the smell of shit poison their nostrils every time they speak, this album is for you.

‘How to Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ will be available on October 25th, through Remote Control and Prescriptions Music, the band’s own label.

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