Since their formation from the ashes of singer Andy Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone’s former band Mclusky in 2005; Future of the Left have established themselves as one of the UKs most interesting and most underrated rock bands. The Welsh post-hardcore outfit return with their 4th studio album ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’. Whilst the bands previous album ‘The Plot Against Common Sense’ was characterised by the band bringing electronic influences into the bands trademark blend of heavy riffs, witty satirical lyrics and catchy choruses, This worked well in places but really didn’t in others. How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ see’s the band abandon the electronic influences and return to the loud distorted riffs which made McLusky and debut album ‘Curses’ such a success. Opening track ‘Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow’ makes this very clear, opening with a blunt crunching riff and drum combination. Falkous’ opening lyric “I’m just a man: a simple thing” sets the tone of the song, it’s loud, heavy, straight to the point and full of angst and energy.
The aggression displayed in the opening few tracks is then contrasted by the spoken word track ‘Singing Of The Bonesaws’ in which Falkous adopts a BBC news reporter accent over the bass driven track in which Julia Ruzicka provides a delicious bassline which provides the song with an almost sing-song vibe which greatly suits the highly sarcastic lyrics in which Falkous rips into a number on targets across contemporary pop culture ranging from the Music industry, to Apple computers, to Soccer AM to MTV. Whilst the two tracks sound totally different, what they share is the same level of intensity which can largely be attributed to the passion of Falkous snarling vocals.
Lead single ‘The Male Gaze’ provides one of the albums most interesting tracks, by adding a more melodic indie rock vibe into the albums vast range of musical influences. Falkous sharp snapping vocals work very well rhythm guitarist Jimmy Watkins falsetto backing vocals help to create one of the catchiest rock choruses you’re likely to hear all year.
One of the highlights of ‘To Stop Your Brain in an Accident’ is undoubtedly ‘French Lessons’. A three minute ballad which is much unlike anything else the band has ever recorded. The bands instrumentation along with the use of piano’s creating a very post-rock sounding song with Falkous muttering some of the albums wittiest and most personal lyrics over the lovely instrumentation. This track is a huge risk for a band so usually associated with being very loud and very tongue in cheek with the subject of its songs but it really pays off and really fits in well between the two much faster songs either side of it.
‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ is an album which changes sound from track to track rather than sticking to one sound for the whole album. Often when a rock band tries it can make the album feel like it doesn’t flow very well and a bit all over the place, thankfully this can’t be said of ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ due to the album maintaining the same level of energy and intensity across every track. ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ is one of the expansive and interesting British rock albums which succeeds at most sounds and influences Future of the Left attempt. It is likely that this album will take a few listens to truly be appreciated but once you get into it ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’ is one of the most diverse and interesting rock albums of 2013. Cameron Law
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