Published Jun 26, 2009Mclusky is dead. It happened four years ago, get over it. Future of the Left, however, are alive and well. And to prove it, the Welsh trio have the album that should finally free them of their albatross. With their ace debut, 2007's Curses, FOTL may not have shook off all of the Mclusky-isms (for instance, Andy "Falco" Falkous' grouchy cadence and fuzzbox guitar tone are still driving components), but it was more just a case of the listener moving on than the band. FOTL certainly have with album number two, a strenuous effort loaded with burning melodies as infectious as a ruinous pandemic. In fact, this band are so pop-ridden, the only reason they aren't Jonas-sized is because disdainful lyrics and sludgy, agitated punk still have yet to catch on. Falkous is a menacing and shrewd front-man who spews hostile yet jocular catchphrases like an evangelist does the gospel. Telling us "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" or depicting his content for "Lapsed Catholics," he's so convincing because of the tempestuous nature of FOTL as such a tight unit. The band are so feral and tight in their execution, which is what makes Travels such an intense pleasure.
How did you form the band after Mclusky?
Falkous: Originally the band was going to be a four-piece, partly to move away explicitly from comparisons to Mclusky. The idea was that I would just play guitar. I really didn't want to sing on stage again. That was not my plan. I was tired of worrying if my voice would hold out for four or five shows in a row. The way I sing, which is quite a generous term, you need to be 100 percent engaged for the whole event. And as enjoyable as it is, it's absolutely exhausting - emotionally and physically. Even to tune it down a notch or two would turn it into a farce. But I conned myself into singing in a band again, because who am I kidding, I'm such a fucking control freak that I couldn't let anyone else sing my words.
Your lyrics are so humorous, almost as if they're written as jokes.
I think sometimes it can be concentrated upon with the best intentions to our detriment in the sense that it becomes a gimmick in the band. I think it's a real shame that a band can't have a sense of humour without it being disseminated in such a way. I've seen reviews that say we're a comedy band, which is just insane to me. (4AD)