Future of the Left - How to Stop Your Brain in a Accident - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Future of the Left - How to Stop Your Brain in a Accident

by Andy Brown Rating:9 Release Date:2013-10-28

Future of the Left have been producing some of the most exciting, original and charismatic rock music you could hope to hear since their debut album in 2007. Formed from the unholy embers of the much-loved (but underexposed) mclusky, the band has kept the quality reassuringly high with each release. After repeat listens,I can say that How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident is quite possibly their finest release since Curses and could be (whisper it) the best thing they've ever done.

The album was funded by a Kickstarter campaign and apparently got the cash they needed within five measly hours. It's an investment well made and to paraphrase a track on the album, you should be excited (and you are excited). The album kicks off with the strutting, crushing groove of 'Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow'. Falco sounds gleefully deranged as some of the band's heaviest guitar parts to date rage all around him. There's a sense of self-belief at the heart of everything the band do; songs delivered with wit, style and just the right amount of aggression. The album races along at a fairly unrelenting pace and where The Plot Against Common Sense had some weaker moments (sacrilege, I know), this is solid fried gold from beginning to end.

'Future Child Embarrassment Matrix' manages that FOTL trick of combing outwardly funny lyrics ("Her cock is so hard/ Her aim is true/ I hear that when she comes/ she comes enough for two") with a sense of genuine menace. Again, the guitars sound devastatingly huge.

'Singing of the Bonesaws' finds Falco adopting a comedic English accent while spouting some typically sharp lyrics: "Our survey says that shouting inanities in a regional accent is valuable to culture". Not many bands could turn these elements into such a great song (comedy accents?) but FOTL carry it off in style. The band's performances throughout are thrillingly alive. How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident really translates the sweat, beer and tension of a live show.

More diverse (yet more focussed) than their last record, How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident is the sound of a band still reaching for new heights. Highlights are frequent. 'French Lessons' takes on a more melancholic approach and almost brings mclusky classic 'She Will Only Bring You Happiness' to mind while the insanely brilliant 'Why Aren't I Going to Hell' combines spaghetti western guitars with Tom Waits murk.

Krent Able's artwork (regular contributor for the sadly defunct Stool Pigeon) perfectly encapsulates the band's sense of humour and impish anarchy. The sleeve notes are pretty great too with such solid advice as: "Do not speak to the pilot when he is fantasising about his new Phillipino wife (his second)" and "Accept that the story of William Tell is not meant to be taken literally, especially by archers". Future of the Left are a band for your heart and your mind. They'll tickle your funny bone and scare the living crap out of you, often in the space of one song (and when I say funny I mean wit not 'wacky').

How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident makes so many other bands look completely unnecessary. If life and its overabundance of average bands is making you feel cynical, maybe its time you got a little Future of the Left in your life.

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