Review: ‘Travels with Myself and Another’

Punk rock has spawned a new subgenre, an oddly disproportionate mix of noise rock and pop influences. Made known by bands like No Age, Japanther and Ex-Models, this clash of noise and melody is an odd emergence of something great. Welsh rock trio, Future of the Left, brings this sound to perfection with pounding bass, screeching guitar, and snotty vocals.

The opening track, “Arming Eritrea,” captures the sound of nearly the entire album in one song, only short of the driving synthesizer first featured on track four, “Throwing Bricks at Trains.”  Kelson Mathias’s catchy basslines compliment both Jack Egglestone’s driving drums and Andy Falkous’s punk influenced vocal styles (reminding me a lot of Jello Biafra from Dead Kennedys, if Biafra had a lot more power). Falkous’s guitar and synthesizer work add a strong contrast to the deep and low beating sounds of both the drums and bass.

Future of the Left creates an infectious magnetic field, both in vocals and riffs, that pulls you in after a couple listens through. I’ll admit, I was extremely skeptical of how much I’d like the album after my first time through. Clash Music told me to turn it up loud, so I did. Time Out Sydney told me it’d be my favorite album of the year or I was “just plain wrong.” So, a devoted listener of music, I listened again. It’s like one of those colds you can feel a couple days before it actually hits, and then suddenly, you get it full force.

The simple, yet loud, raw emotion that protrudes from Travels is the kind of music that keeps making you turn up the volume knob until you realize you’re at your peak. This realization almost made me go out and buy better speakers, but for the sake of my ill-eared neighbors, I decided to save my money for Future of the Left’s back catalog.