Future of the Left, 'The Plot Against Common Sense'

Future of the Left, 'The Plot Against Common Sense' (May 23, 2012)

**** (out of four)

“I have seen into the future,” snarls Future of the Left singer Andy Falkous. “Everyone is slightly older.”

The song (“Cosmos Ladder”) documents casual dangers like tanning that have a higher probability of killing you than the bigger ones—“You’re more likely to burn up in Beirut or Belize than wake up in a marketplace with shrapnel in your knees.” It’s one of many fantastic rockers on “Plot” that cleverly reveal where we are and our need to know what could be next. With frequently bass-driven grooves that shake you out of any musical comfort zone, FOTL continue the brilliance of 2009’s “Travels with Myself and Another” and comment on topics like the lack of perspective that comes with high ambitions (“Failed Olympic Bid”) and phony activism (“Sorry Dad, I Was Late For the Riots”).

Yet the Welsh band’s vicious sense of humor peaks with “Robocop 4 – [Bleep] Off Robocop,” in which Falkous navigates a zigzagging musical assault—it sounds like guitar, keys and drums trying to squeeze through a doorway at once—and destroys the Hollywood system that cranks out sequels for no reason other box office. “’Pirates of the Caribbean 47’, Johnny Depp stars as the robot pirate, who loses his wife in a game of poker and tries to win her back with hilarious consequences,” he speculates. It’s funny, and only gets funnier as the song’s coda moves on.

Yet within this witty, essential group exists a blistering, ever-relevant awareness that what we laugh about today might not be so amusing tomorrow.