album reviews

Future of the Left
Travels With Myself and Another
4AD (2009)

Kindred spirits: The Jesus Lizard, Fugazi, the Clash, McLuskey

Future of the Left's sophomore release, "Travels With Myself and Another," is soaked with a pummeling fury, in music and lyrics. The frenzy of the Welsh trio's noisy punk is exceeded only by the ranting vocals of former McLuskey singer Andrew Falkous as he spews lyrics both political and nonsensical with a rush that sounds as if the end of the world is nigh.

That sense of exigency is apparent in the song titles ("You Need Satan More Than He Needs You") and in Falkous's words: "The Hope That House Built" features the rallying plea "Come join, come join our hopeless cause!"

But Future of the Left exudes more urgency than despair. Its music is a vigorous force that goes a long way. The speedy riffs accenting "Stand by Your Manatee" and "Arming Eritrea" have an air of agitation that begs for constant movement. Even when the lyrics veer into absurdity (the beginning of "Lapsed Catholics" features a rant comparing Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman), the trio still makes its quandaries sound vital.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 23 October 2009, Page WE07
.: Travels With Myself and Another on