November 15, 2011 - Xtra Mile
2010 found Welsh wiseguys Future Of The Left dealing with label migration and personnel shifts. Fortunately, this machine ain’t broke: The mini-LP Polymers Are Forever doesn’t stray too far from the Lefties’ unique suffix rock (surrealist, situationist, absurdist), powered by frontman Andy Falkous’ penchant for black-belt wit and jagged guitar figures. On the mid-tempo title track, Falkous makes references and demands in celebration (maybe it’s mockery) of elective surgery (“Fasten your proteins/Fatten your thighs/Different bodies/Similar minds”) amid pealing guitars and swelling synthesizers. “My Wife Is Unhappy” finds him narrating a scene from a marriage in suburban desperation mode (“She died at dinner parties/But never literally”) over a slow, repetitive guitar figure.
These tracks are good, but FOTL have always been at the height of their game when they’re in centrifugal force mode, amps on fire, powered by Jack Egglestone’s regimented rhythmic energy and Falkous’ abject mania. “With Apologies To Emily Pankhurst” finds the singer assuming the role of a boorish, well-heeled d-bag, growling lines like, “I like my woman like I like my money—in my pocket.” The bouncy “New Adventures” starts with a Muppets-on-meth intro before unfolding into a script for a twisted TV Brit-com that’s as sinister (“Softly… suddenly… suddenly!”) as it is whimsical. In short, Polymers Are Forever makes the noblest of gestures—confusing the hell out of people who love their culture served to them on a stick while getting their fans psyched for a proper full-length early next year.