Thursday, November 10, 2011
[pitchfork.com] Despite their name, Future of the Left aren't caught up in politics, but it would be nice if they were. Triangulating toxic levels of intelligence, humor, and aggressiveness, they're exactly the kind of band who could be speaking truth to power. But, for the most part, Andy Falkous forgoes highfalutin political statements and just tells it like it is to us regular schmoes, at the risk of sounding like a jerk. But because even expert-level misanthropes have to deal with mundane problems like label woes (they never really fit on 4AD anyway) and lineup turbulence, the Polymers Are Forever EP is the first we've heard from the gleefully malevolent Welshmen since 2009's bulldozing Travels With Myself and Another.
With a full-length due next year, these six songs allow FOTL a relatively risk-free chance to regroup and familiarize themselves with some older inventory. Polymers isn't a total overhaul from the taut and punishing Travels, but it does dial back tempos and lean far more heavily on blaring arcade synthesizers-- starting with 2007's Curses, it was the easiest thing to point out when differentiating FOTL from the unimpeachable Mclusky. The title track retains Travel's blunt-force rhythms, but the structure leaves enough for the keyboards to add barbed texture and for an unusually campy Falkous to go ham, so to speak; adopting a nasal vowel-stretching honk to berate science's quick fixes, it's a scenery-chewing, karaoke rendering of Ozzy's coked-out nadir. It's understandable to focus on Falkous' lyrics, yet "Polymers" flashes compositional chops that are often overlooked in discussing FOTL, as it bisects into a nagging, hooky first half that leads to a mantra of stuttering syntax that becomes subtly anthemic.
Likewise, the best parts of Polymers sonically echo its leader: I didn't think a band could sound sarcastic as opposed to being it, but FOTL play with mean-spirited humor. Check the teeter-tottering polka of "New Adventures" that seems to exist solely to mock Falkous' woeful heroin addicts and born losers, or the intentional mispronunciation of a directive to a plastic surgeon-- "Bob, do it"-- used for an off-beat "bah-bah-bah-do-do" chorus on "Polymers Are Forever."
Obviously, Falkous runs the show, and it's often hilarious, usually bilious, and almost always quotable...
READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW HERE.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 2:57 PM