by Sean Deveney (@autonomousnloud)
I will always look back fondly on the time I saw Future of the Left in Norwich, England. I was studying abroad for a year and saw they were playing the exact city I was in (something I was not used to, coming from a small town in Pennsylvania).
The show involved singer Andrew Falkous (Falco) engaging in hilarious banter with the crowd and concluded with an insane freakout jam session that involved Falco removing various parts of drummer Jack Egglestone’s drum set (which he continued to play nevertheless) as the rest of the band participated in an intense display of sonic catharsis. Walking out of the show, I was stunned and satisfied like never before.
After this experience, I naturally listened to more of Falco’s music such as his previous band Mclusky and his current self-described “non-solo one-man-band” Christian Fitness. In April, he released Slap Bass Hunks as the fourth album under the Christian Fitness name. If you have ever enjoyed Future of the Left or Mclusky, there is no excuse not to check out Christian Fitness. This latest album contains his signature lyrical approach as well as the blasting bass lines and hard-hitting drums that can be found in his other work.
“Family Courts” opens the album in an immediate way with a riff that doesn’t even really sound like a riff. The bass and drums are so powerful they almost attack the listener. Falco’s vocals then begin and sound as though he has been speaking for a while and you have just now started to listen in to his conversation. This acts as an effective hook because you want to figure out what exactly he is talking about.
“National Insurance” also has an incredible hook with thunderous bass and drums pounding away as Falco sings “Hard work is a trap. That’s the big secret, and no one ever thanks you for it. Hard work is a trick. It plays on weakness, and it worries me that you’re falling for it.” Falco’s skill as a lyricist shows in his ability to write about both serious and humorous topics, sometimes simultaneously.
In “Other Men’s Wives,” he sings “Other men’s gardens: what do they do in them? They build gazebos and then they watch them rot.” The guitar is also especially good and gives the song a slightly more melodic feel than most of the others on this album. He later descends into screaming after singing “Oh no my god sorry it’s usually harder.”
Falco’s interesting and often humorous writing always seems to be accompanied by ear-shattering bass lines and resounding drums that would probably be intriguing enough on their own. The combination of these elements creates a truly spectacular and memorable album that many more people need to be listening to.