Future of the Left – How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident Future of the Left – How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident

Future of the Left - How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident (2013)

Future of the Left – How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident (2013)

Though I am loathe to commit this to print (or whatever you’d call this), I have to admit that I didn’t think Future of the Left’s last full length, The Plot Against Common Sense was very good at all. Sure, it had some flashes of the wonderfully irate balls-deep wink and rage that makes and made Andy Falkous one of pop culture’s most coveted antiheroes (namely “Robocop 4: Fuck Off, Robocop”) as well as some tender distinctions (“Beneath the Waves an Ocean) but, on the whole, it read rather flat if not a little limp uninspired. There were too many shrill keyboards and the mix was all off. The tracks were inconsistent and the girth of the record suggested the sexiest band in Wales was running on surplus and in desperate need of an editor while they made their transition from trio to quartet without the bearded mad bassman who once chided me, in Brooklyn for handing him “a rape mask.”

I will say, however, that I loved the penguin on the cover (you cunt).

There were two EPs after that: Man Vs. Melody and Love Songs for Our Husbands. Neither was particularly impressive, though I listened to each one again and again and again in the hopes that there’d be more than one song apiece (“He Is Not a Hymn” and “An Idiot’s Idea of Ireland” respectively) to knock my yellow, holey teeth out but there just wasn’t and in short time I was more than a bit concerned that the band I loved had slipped their apex leaving me with nothing but a remarkable confluence of gut brick tracks, photographs and drunken events which any self-abusing record geek would give his secret stash of German shame porn for in a fucking myopic heartbeat.

Which, really, would’ve been fine.

But nuts to that because How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident is goddamn tremendous. Were it sequenced a little differently (“Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow” and “Johnny Borrell Afterlife” [which didn’t reach me on Man Vs. Melody but here reveals a bass melody that ticks my cockles just right] are fine songs but offer a disorienting opening) I’d say the thing was nearly pretty fucking perfect. It’s certainly the most consistent album of FOTL’s career. From “Future Child Embarrassment Matrix” (also from Man Vs. Melody which I’m beginning to think was some illicit demo bootleg rather than a full-fledged EP) whose rabid pulse and crass gender dysphoric assault could boil the righteous blood of a P-Town brawl through the seemingly genuinely humanist half-balladry of “French Lessons” and the manic sociopolitical Albee death absurdity of “She Gets Passed Around at Parties” all the way to the cheeky meta bop jazz outro of “Why Aren’t I Going to Hell?” How to Stop Your Brain proves a record of whip-smart irreverence that understands a breath is just as effective (if not more so) as a blackjack.

On this album, FOTL display that they are not wholly reliant on Mr. Falkous’ full-throated tirade or the Marshall stack blitz to get their ire across. They’re better than that, now. They’re fucking dynamic.

How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident Tracklist:
01 – Bread, Cheese, Bow And Arrow
02 – Johnny Borrell Afterlife
03 – Future Child Embarrassment Matrix
04 – The Male Gaze
05 – Singing Of The Bonesaws
06 – I Don’t Know What You Ketamine (But I Think I Love You)
07 – French Lessons
08 – How To Spot A Record Company
09 – Donny Of The Decks
10 – She Gets Passed Around At Parties
11 – Something Happened
12 – The Real Meaning Of Christmas
13 – Things To Say To Friendly Policemen
14 – Why Aren’t I Going To Hell

Future of the Left - How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident, reviewed by Charles on 2013-10-08T13:49:14-07:00 rating 4.6 out of 5

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