The train will invariably come to a halt

It's knee-jerk hyperbole hour here at AYGH towers. I've already peed my virtual pants over the merits of Arming Eritrea, and today its parent album hits stores, both actual and computer-oriented. And dare I say it, Future of the Left's 'Travels With Myself and Another' is the best album of 2009 so far. Yes, I'll say it.

Where 'Curses' saw the band trying to find its voice, 'Travels..' is gloriously focused. It's also hilarious, righteous, rocks like a ten-tonne bastard, and - here's the revelation - has some tunes you can hum the next day.

Witness 'Throwing Bricks at Trains', a song with more melody than anything they've put out before, and with harmonies! 'Drink Nike' has a chorus - not just one sentence (cf "Sausage on a stick", "why put the body where the body don't wanna go?") but an actual, straight-up chorus. 'Chin Music' spins from a fuzzy, accelerated verse to a delirious payoff. And 'Lapsed Catholics' discusses the 'Shawshank Redemption', making this arguably the first rock album of the year to tip a cap to Frank Darabont. They still play their "bass-tuned-all-the-way-down" card, on tracks like 'You Need Satan More Than He Needs You', so this isn't a complete reinvention. They've just smoothed some - some - of their edges and honed themselves into a leering powerful machine.

There's a great interview with Falco over at DiS, where he talks a British inferiority complex when it comes to bands that rock. With 'Travels With Myself and Another', the band has reached the potential we all knew they would. In a perfect world, they'd become massive after this. It's not a perfect world, but this is a damn-near perfect album.

[Future of the Left official / myspace / buy 'Travels...' US / UK]


Alexander said...

that's quite the endorsement there, AYGH.

I shall download it without even a sample listen.

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