Sunday, 17 June 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #221 - Future of the Left, "the plot against common sense"

Bitterly powerful performers, these lads, and the most spectacularly sharp on stage I've heard, especially of the tongue. I'm assuming that any references they make that I don't understand are down to them being much cleverer than me.

"Failed Olympic Bid" lurches and staggers with bassy beef and angular guitars: "I've got a home for the Millenium Dome/A heart disease ward underwritten by McDonalds." That black stuff glinting in the sun, yeah? That's the spiky tip of their dark iceberg sense of humour/justice/despair. "City of Exploded Children" is a queasy title and it's that dizzy sense of quease that they promote so effectively, picking at all the scabs. I'd bracket them with The Chap, although it's much easier to work out how angry FOTL are. They have the same tangle in them; I can't find it better than that. "Goals in Slow Motion" tears a few strips of the backs of rapist footballers with its razor-like teeth.

The middle class have their stamps licked on "Camp Cappuccino"; they "took the petty cash/For the waiting staff/To blow/At Camp Cappuccino". What can it all mean? The structure of the music dictates that they know exactly what they mean; it's so sharp and precise and scratchy with rage. Maybe they're too angry and tired to make the point directly. They seem to have to a fourth member now too, though it doesn't seem to have affected their sound much. "Polymers Are Forever" builds up layers and layers like the plastic bags of stones in the bottom of the ocean that they are singing about for some reason that I can't quite fathom.

I can pick up on the pop culture stuff more easily, like Slipknot looting Topshop during riots being photographed by Kerrang or on "Robocop 4 - Fuck Off Robocop" - "If Michael Bay wants a bigger house/Let's help him/Art? Ha! Where you from?" I can manage that stuff. There's more than one reference to Total War as well, which isn't nearly as well regarded as its nearest equivalent, Total Football. It's like Jack Black if he had something interesting to say. With more anger seething through guitars in the background.

So many of the lyrics sound like an attempt to engage the idiots that sit on top of everything in conversation: "No, you can't move your market to your manufacturing base" on "Rubber Animals", for example. I like that direct approach. I'm always tempting to wander down oblique ginnels; but then I lack the courage that they have; their flinty Silurian staunch.

"At least Harry Potter has a proper story/In the sense that the characters crave an ending/Wanting to release Billy Corgan from his role as the titular character's nemesis." Sounds funnier than it reads. And it reads pretty funny.

Rating: Acid out of Orwell

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