Future of the Left, the plot against common sense
First off, let me confess that I’ve loved this album since the very first note, and here’s why: Future of the Left combines the sound of many of my favorite bands.
In any particular song, I can hear something like System of a Down without the metal, Sex Pistols and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. In a specific song, such as “Beneath the Waves of an Ocean,” I can hear Helmet-like distorted bass lines and Blue October-esque vocals. “Failed Olympic Bid” would make David Bowie proud, and “Cosmo’s Ladder” sounds musically enough like The B-52′s that at times I believe Future of the Left singer Andy Falkous is channeling Fred Schneider.
And then you can also have a song like “Goals in Slow Motion,” which just throws all of those other musical comparisons out the window.
What I really think I love most about Future of the Left, though, are the lyrics. If the music was horrible, no amount of good lyrics could make up for it, but again, this music is far from being horrible. The fact that this collage of musical styles that I like comes mixed together with these lyrics that I just want to quote all day makes me quite giddy.
Rather than dissect song by song for you — which is something I’d love to do but which would probably bore you — let me just tell you about my particularly favorite song, which, if you know me at all, you will know is called “Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop.”
This song touches not just on the topic of the half human/half machine officer of the law himself, but also other things going on in Hollywood. One great line that comes in kind of early is, “If Michael Bay wants a bigger house, let’s help him out.” I will admit to liking the live action Transformers movie, but yes, I do still find that line to be hilarious. If Future of the Left put it on a t-shirt and sold it, I would most definitely buy it and wear it.
The song then goes into this little blurb about the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, as well as the final Harry Potter movie. Is it sad that I am now only going to turn to Future of the Left albums for all of my movie reviews? I seriously would love it if they released a four-minute song every other week giving us up-to-the-minute movie news. I know they probably have better things to do with their time, but watch your back, Peter Travers.
While saying as many words as he possibly can as fast as he can — sort of like a thirty-second movie review with many more words than he squeeze in for the length — Falkous pretty much nails Pirates 4, which I kind of liked but didn’t like nearly as much as the first three. (I am an adamant Gore Verbinski fan.)
Now, I’ve never been a fan of Harry Potter (but my wife is), so I’ll reserve judgment on his somewhat fair critique of that film — Falkous actually seemed to kind of like it, at least more than Pirates 4 — but I do feel the need to point out how hilarious it is that he compares the Harry Potter villain to Billy Corgan. Even as a non-Potter fan, I find that to be incredibly funny and might make some memes about it.
The song concludes with our titular character, Robocop, being put on blast in the line repeated several times: “Robocop 4 is in pre-production, as if Robocop 3 wasn’t bad enough.” Granted, Robocop 3 is the Robocop 3 of the franchise, much like how House Party got gradually worse and so did Rocky (yhough I always liked Rocky V), but Robocop was still the best movie in that series, because in the beginning you got to see Robocop ripped to shreds as you’ve never seen before.
When I posed this song lyric to fellow writer Craig Hlavaty (can I name-drop him here?), since he posted something about the Robocop movies, he informed me that Robocop 4 is not yet-another-sequel but rather a reboot of the franchise. That seems fair, but I still love this album and think you will too.