FUGO - Avant 93:43

Fugo - Avant 93:43

18 songs
93:37 minutes
***** ****
Engineer / The Finest Noise


It’s been six years since the debut of Swiss band Fugo, and apart from a split-release in the meantime, there has been no sign of life of the three-piece until now. Instead of simply coming back with a simple follow-up, they worked truly hard and have managed to record eighteen tracks, sprawled over three discs each averaging about thirty minutes each.

What first struck me was the three different covers, all of them drawn by Conrad Keely, vocalist of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Sharing stylistic similarities with the artwork of their album The Century Of Self, the triptych seemingly tells the story of a young boy growing up in the middle ages, to become a disillusioned man in the present, to end up a bitter old man sometime in a science fictional future, all the way accompanied by the same woman (mother, wife, mistress). I don’t know if my interpretation is correct, but there is a concept of time running throughout the ninety-plus minutes of Avant 93:43.

The songs are more or less untitled, instead only bear the numbers of the disc and their sequence within, so that it’s hard, without a lyrics sheet, to make exact sense of the story. But that doesn’t matter, because on the musical front, there is absolutely no reason to complain. Fugo perfectly combine the noisy abrasiveness of Nineties alternative rock with the more contemporary intelligence of current indie rock. The vocalist reminds me strongly of Billy Corgan, so that it makes sense to describe Fugo as a hybrid between The Smashing Pumpkins and the band of their artwork artist. Maybe this ends up in something not entirely unique, but the Swiss trio’s strong songwriting skills and their innovative blend of the old with the new still makes for an enlightened listening experience.

Fugo certainly have all it takes to open ears outside their mountainous Alps republic, and it can only be hoped that they won’t take another years to enchant us with another of their great albums. Avant 93:43 not only contain impeccable music, but comes in an unusual package that will doubtlessly catch the attention of quality-driven rock fans. In times where music has been reduced to digital files, this is an original way how you can get people to opt the physical medium.

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