It took a few regrets to push me into the highly involved show reviewer that I am. One of those painstaking regrets was not attending a McLusky show. I had a stretch where I would somewhat enjoy a band, but not enough to drive an hour to catch a live set, only to find myself obsessing over an album and kicking myself for skipping that show.
In fact, in some small way I am part of the reason a criminally slept on band like McLusky is now defunct — we never appreciated what we had. McLusky truly made us all their bitch, just when we were starting to love them the most by breaking up. No farewell tour; just a parting statement, and a promise that we would hear them again in some new form.
Future of the Left is the return of frontman Andy Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone, as bassist John Chapple has a new band, curiously on the same label, Shooting at Unarmed Men. Replacing Chapple is bassist and keyboardist Kelson Mathias of the former Jarcrew, another under-appreciated Wales band.
Future of the Left’s debut Curses is nearly six months old; yes, I am late again, but I feel privileged to discover it regardless. FOTL retains all the appeal of McLusky, angered riffing and localized disgust with natives only band knows, but behold… keyboards. Do not cringe; there is no need for alarm. On “Manchasm” the keys drone like an extension of the McLusky’s signature bass as Falkous chants “Colin is a pussy, a very pretty pussycat.” The same can be said for “Suddenly It’s a Folk Song” as it is rarely is played as a polished pretty little pep inducer, but as the instrument of a former noise rock outfit.
All that remains is the ever-important curiosity — is Future of the Left a suitable replacement for McLusky? No… not quite. “Small Bones, Small Bodies,” “Real Men Hunt in Packs,” and “adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood” are welcomed continuations of McLusky’s signature skullduggery, while “Suddenly It’s a Folk Song” pitters near the melancholy brilliance of “She Will Only Bring You Happiness.” My hope is that Falkous has another Do Dallas in him and this time around I can be there for the supporting tour.