Fugue – The Spoils Of War
Release Date 27/10/2019
Running Time: 29:34
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
Good evening, my dear friends and followers. It is Saturday and I am your saturnine satyr Dark Juan, here to share my opinions, bizarre theories and out and out insane nonsense with you about whatever I please and there’s nothing you can do about it! Apart from stop reading but that would be a very very bad thing to do because you wouldn’t get to learn about the Australian/ Italian alt rock band I am currently listening to. Should you wish to continue to read these ramblings, I should warn you they have been fuelled by a bottle of rather excellent port, and I am a little bit squiffy, after a hard day of trying to find a virgin to defile in West Yorkshire. It appears there aren’t any left. It’s nearly as bad as Liverpool. At least in Wales there is the odd valley or two where my influence has not penetrated. Cheeky! How am I to preach my gospel of hatred for God and the only true way of the Left Hand Path if I can’t defile virgins and sacrifice them to my great and mighty lord Shaitan upon my altar of pain and suffering while they lie upon a bastardised statue of Christ while they bleed their lives out through carved sigils and severed veins? I don’t mind telling you it looks like I am going to have to find a proper job soon and that simply won’t do…
I’ll be honest – when I hear the words “alt rock” the first thing that comes into my head is the fucking Flaming twatty Lips. I hate The Flaming Lips. I hate their name, their whiny bollock music and the fact that they have single handedly murdered rock and roll with insipid lightweight “tunes” and bollockbrained personalities and the fact they are filled with a colossally overwhelming sense of their own self-importance. Even if I do actually love “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part I”. Instead we have this band Fugue. A fugue in music is a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts. Or their name could be associated with the dissociative fugue state, being a psychiatric disorder characterised by reversible amnesia for personality, memories and other identifying characteristics of individuality. Fugue (the band) are absolutely NOT arseholes. They are in fact rather jolly good.
A quick aside – There has just been an advert on television (I have the famously explodatastic Independence Day on in the background – the fact that the filmmakers have portrayed the Royal Air Force flying F-16 Fighting Falcons STILL PISSES ME OFF!) that has the remarkably combative and fabulously whiny Mancunian mop topped Beatles copyists Oasis’ Wonderwall made into some kind of awful pity ballad that is ACTUALLY WORSE THAN THE FUCKING ORIGINAL HATEFUL BASTARD SONG! However, the horror was mitigated somewhat by Mrs. Dark Juan changing the lyric from “You’re my wonderwall” (which is literal doggerel and therefore absolute bollocks) to “You’re my bonzer battlement” which we can all agree is a far superior lyric and makes infinitely more sense.
To business! The record opens with some extremely Led Zeppeliny riffing on ‘Smoketrails’ underpinned with the clean, crystal clear vocal of Luke Corso. The chorus has some tasty vocal harmonies and some emotive guitar soloing. I like this a lot so far – Luke’s voice is part Klaus Meine (Scorpions), part Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) and the guitar sound is so clear and pure it makes this grizzled old metaller want to weep for joy. The record has a fine production – every instrument is clear and hard hitting, yet still pleasingly heavy. The band’s sound is interesting as well. It sounds like a combination of QOTSA at their most staccato, crossed with Alter Bridge, Helmet, Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Coheed and Cambria with added Bob Mould’s Sugar (Copper Blue is one of THE great and cruelly ignored alternative rock masterpieces). I’m now on the softer and more accessible ‘Leaves’ but it is still very good indeed. To describe this record as a heavy metal record would be entirely wrong. It is a hard rock record with progressive elements. To call it alternative rock is to not do it sufficient justice because most alt rock really is absolute shite, mate. I’m sorry but it is. Now we are on track 6, entitled ‘Air’ which is that rarest of rare things, an acceptable ballad. My hatred and disgust at ballads are well known and I am prone to uttering a sarcasm or two about how godawful they are. However, ‘Air’ is engaging and interesting throughout. ‘Sirens’ is a song that reminds me greatly of Sugar, gentle clean electric guitar giving way to the sheer alchemy of a heavily distorted riff of puissant majesty and power. The next song is entitled ‘Walls’ and is the album closer. The guitar work is very reminiscent of Josh Homme and QOTSA around “Go With The Flow”. This isn’t a bad thing because this song is done right and rocks your metaphorical pants off. Alright, yes, I am dancing around my front room with no pants on. Fugue have done that to me.
Every song on the record is a high quality rock song. Fugue are a damned fine rock band. I love them. I love Anna’s bass work, thunderously underpinning some high quality riffage with some intricate playing yet never overpowering the rest of the band and I love the drumming of Renato Fabrizi too.
I’m going to stop writing now, because I have drunk far too much port. Nos dda, friends!
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Fugue 9/10 for a damned near perfect record.
04. The Shroud
07. Hungry Sea
Luke Corso – Guitar and vocals
Anna Bach – Bass
Renato Fabrizi – Drums
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