FUTURE OF THE LEFT: Curses [Too Pure]

Few bands sneered as brilliantly as the late, lamented Mclusky, the abrasive Welsh noise/punk trio whose Steve Albini-recorded albums burned through the post-millennial indie-rock landscape with bile-fueled energy and biting wit. Since Mclusky flamed out in 2005, guitarist/vocalist Andy Falkous and heavy-hitting drummer Jack Egglestone have teamed with countryman Kelson Mathias for what could be regarded as Mclusky 2.0. The gleefully snide vocals, jagged guitars and manic pop hooks remain, but Curses has expanded upon Mclusky’s formula with more listener-friendly touches. The bouncy keyboard throughout “Manchasm” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nuggets anthology, and “Real Men Hunt In Packs” gets a dark, menacing jolt from a rollicking juke-joint piano. Future Of The Left frequently justifies its name with a number of oblique references to Tories and war, but the trio is too self-aware not to undercut such matters with absurdist one-liners (“There are no bold statements in my paradiddle”). Don’t be fooled; there’s a riot going on here. It’s just a lot more fun than most. []

—Chris Barton