Indie-rock tends to be fairly well-mannered: Even when it succumbs to metallic influences (see: the whole Isis/Pelican "instro-metal" axis), it tends to remains polite. Whither the bands inspired by the beautiful ugliness of The Jesus Lizard, those uninterested in the "stoner" or "metal" tags, but willing and able to get nasty? McLusky was one, but the Welsh band flamed out before picking up much steam. Two years later, two-thirds of the group have re-emerged, re-energized, as Future Of The Left, with McLusky's ingratiating snottiness fully intact. Singer-guitarist Andrew Falkous has a way with snarling words that ring both hilarious and scary ("Violence solves everything," "Real men hunt in packs"), and he's refined it even further with Curses, an ingratiatingly ugly, fun blast of guitars and barks. "Plague Of Onces" feels like audio whiplash; "Small Bones Small Bodies" creeps and chugs through the sewer; and "The Contrarian" offers a surprisingly delicate finish, complete with piano. Each moment is pleasantly unpleasant, as Curses hard-charges headfirst into brute-rock without considering genre distinctions. It's bracing, exciting, and refreshingly, nastily smart.
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