I always look forward to new music from Cardiff based Andrew Falkous, one of modern music’s most determined, quirky and angry songwriters. His intense, rancorous and often daft (but always a good kind of daft) view of the world has brought much needed character to rock music over the past 20 years. For the uninitiated, Falkous’ bands Mclusky and future of the left offer the kind of spiced up post-punk that is imaginative without being needlessly complex and comical without ever being a joke. Future of the left’s 2013 album ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident‘ is an extremely rewarding listen and packed with great ideas. It’s the kind of music that the word ‘tame’ was never intended to be used in reference to.
Today we’re here to talk about the latest chapter in Falkous’ (or Falco, if you’re into the whole brevity thing) musical output. Whilst future of the left go through a period of downtime, Falco has taken the opportunity (not to mention a certain amount of personal downtime (read: unemployment) to write and record under the name Christian Fitness.
one ‘man’. band. NOT a solo artist. all songs created by imagined multiple personalities, some of which are shy. first record ‘i am scared of everything that isn’t me’ recorded at home. drums on some songs by stuffy, who is a very good drummer. one bass-line by my wife, who is a very good bass-player (and wife). if you buy my songs i can make more a little quicker. all human rights reserved.
Above is Cardiff based Falkous’ description of the resulting album ‘i am scared of everything that isn’t me‘. It consists of 12 songs which offer a sideways view of what has always made Falco a compelling musician – bizarre and vicious lyrics, economic songwriting and a caustic vocal range (which seems to be going from strength to strength – the man can sing in the studio). It’s given Falco the chance to explore different avenues of music (such as Dead Kennedys-style surf rock) to his main band. In fact, plenty of ‘i am scared…’ sounds like it could be a future of the left B-side (this is meant as a compliment), such is the kind of freedom Christian Fitness seems to be affording Falco. Falco-isms such as Jesus Lizard style basslines, tight danceable rhythms and foreboding minor keys (reminiscent of FOTL’s ‘Destroywhitchurch.com) are also present. In essence: the songwriting is great.
Let’s be honest, it’s probably a good thing that Falco can’t find any gainful employment. I’m always amazed how anyone can conjure up creativity in the precious hours left over in the day after work, so let’s thanks god/George Osborne that the man’s been given this opportunity to spend time on his art (I’m aware that reveling in someone else’s joblessness is not on, but hey, i’m just glad ‘i am scared…’ exists).
For a home recording, ‘i am scared of everything that isn’t me’ is neither subtle nor campfire-esque. It shouldn’t be regarded as anything less than a rocking step forward for one of music’s strongest voices.
Highlights? ‘soft power itches‘ (above) ‘teeth‘ (below) and ‘disturbing the ache‘ (available, along with the whole album on Bandcamp here)
If you like what you hear, sling some money in Falco’s direction. A second CF album is promised, so give the man some cash to eat whilst he makes it. For those wanting to read more, Falco’s creativity also extends outside of music to writing too – his Hard Sell pieces in The Guardian are excellent. ’til next time!