The PR notes state this album ‘…was plagued with troubles stemming from the ongoing backlogs experienced at pressing plants…’ That’s such a sad statement because it’s hard enough for bands to get their music out to the masses in general and they certainly don’t need help from backlogged pressing plants. Although on the bright side I guess having too much music to press on vinyl is a good problem to have. That being said, The Fur were finally able to release their new full-length Sonntag in November 2021.
The trio paint a picture with each song, that combined would make a fantastic mural. The theme behind the album is a story about the chaotic origin of the universe and how it found balance over time and then, well, insert mankind. You can see where this is going.
It took me a little while to get into this album. I was expecting more of a post-rock vibe similar to If These Trees Could Talk or This Will Destroy You, as this is a very different album. There are moments throughout that resemble those bands, and in fact the closing song Yage is what I was looking for, but I’ll touch in that later. The spacey noises that open Sagan suggest a more psychedelic vibe. The drums and bass create an instant groove as they enter in over the sci-fi background. Soft delayed guitar weave in and out effortlessly through the strong rhythm. Thinking back to the story as I listened, I can envision this song as the prequel to the Big Bang. All the molecules are moving around getting ready for a great event. The song does a fantastic job painting that image in my mind with perfect use of dynamics.
OSB follows and continues the build-up for the inevitable chaotic start to the universe. At the four-minute mark, a high-pitched whistle builds up with spoken word vocals (reminiscent of The Lord Of The Rings narration) stating ‘As heat and mass converge into solid matter, one must remember it’s is only the beginning.’ The song explodes much like the universe and a hectic creation begins.
Track three, Reesmasjien, is the first after the creation of the universe, I would imagine. It has a very groovy happy vibe. All is going as planned. The guitar tone for me (as usual) stands out with its overdriven palm-muted riffs. The occasional added lead with phaser and delay makes everything still sound unorganized, but more under control, as the universe is attempting to find balance.
The smooth bass line with the swing like drums grabs your attention immediately in Shake. Balance has been restored in our newly created universe and this calming song allows you to feel that all is OK. I enjoy the melodic guitars over the top. The slightly overdriven sound pairs nicely with the clean bass and swing-like drums to make a short but pleasant track.
the fast-paced solo with a phaser effect sounds incredible, while the fuzzed soaked riffs and pummeling drums are faultless…
Now, whether you believe in Adam and Eve, Adam and Steve, or any other combination, I think everyone can come together and agree on one thing. The human race has fucked up this planet and is now working on the universe. Hell, we have a car floating indefinitely through space, who knows what destruction that may cause, anyway, enough of my rambling. The purpose of that was to introduce the next song Bake which I believe is the part in our story where mankind is introduced. The Dick Dale surf guitar intro is sublime and the fast-paced solo with a phaser effect sounds incredible, while the fuzzed soaked riffs and pummeling drums are faultless. I personally love the introduction of vocals for this song as it coincides with the birth of mankind in this story.
Mirage starts with a Stranger Things synth vibe and a simple cymbal beat. It transitions into a calming drum pattern and soft delayed guitar. The soothing nature of this song is interesting because I would assume the harsher music would continue throughout, since mankind is in constant battle with, well everything. The title of the song however is Mirage, so my impression is t’s an illusion created by man that there is a perfect balance in the universe. Around the four-minute mark, the intensity of the song builds into an extreme close dropping the curtain of the mirage.
The power leads into the next track Hawawa where the mighty riffs are intertwined with King Buffalo-esque palm-muted delays and is a flawless lead-in for the closing song I mentioned earlier. As the droning undertones of Yage ring in followed, closely by the delayed riffs, I immediately felt that This Will Destroy You vibe I was searching for. The dynamics on this track are exquisite. It’s the absolute perfect ending to this story because the drastic changes between clean and calm, to fuzzy and chaotic, showcase the struggle humankind has created to maintain the balance they disrupted. Definitely my favorite song on the album.
This album was nothing what I expected when I first clicked play, but after listening a few times and thinking about the story from the PR notes, I gained an immense appreciation for Sonntag. It sparked some creativity in me to conjure up a story and write my own concept album, although I doubt it would be anywhere near this level of awesome.
Scribed by: Josh Schneider