Either I ignored reviews of Future of the Left's sophomore album Travels With Myself and Another or I managed to miss each and every single one of them, because it appears the album was received pretty well in all corners.
What it took for me to actually download and listen to the album - five times in five days, as it now stands - was for it to land on Against Me! lead singer Tom Gabel's best of 2009 list over at Punknews.org. I thought, this guy keeps putting out great records, maybe he's got decent taste.
Travels With Myself and Another is, in fact, a pretty good record. It's got some stomping noise and a little obscene attitude not unlike the boys in Art Brut only it is completely unlike them. Everything is a bit cheeky on the album, and sometimes political. Also, I can understand the repeated references the singer makes to his balls - mine play a pretty significant role in my life too.
"Lapsed Catholics," not only the longest song on the album, but also the last song on the album, has stuck with me each time I listen to it. When it ends, I play it again. The casual delivery of story and sudden stab of rock and roll is a refreshing wake-up at whatever point my day is at. It's the acoustic guitar, and the ridiculous lyric, and the noisy climax, and resonates better, I think, than mid-album pleaser "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You."
With a name like Future of the Left, I thought I was about to get the second coming of Refused. To a certain extent, I'm disappointed that I didn't get exactly that. What's left, however, is more than enough to make me listen to the album again tomorrow. And I'll hear this song at least twice.