The Fiery Furnaces
/rough trade; 2005/


Listen to me (please). This EP has 10 songs on it. That is not like most EP’s. No, none of them are segues or stupid one minute experiments. They are all real songs, and they are all fantastic. If you liked Blueberry Boat, go on now, git; this is out already and you want it. If you had issues with Blueberry Boat, then sit down. Let’s have a chat.

OK. I know exactly where you’re coming from. I thought the album was indulgent and overbearing in some spots too at first. But man, have you actually listened to the whole thing? I’ll tell you what did it for me. I woke up one morning, made a fresh pot of coffee, sifted through some CD’s and put it in. I was looking forward to the day ahead of me and in this gaiety I began happily consuming my strawberry Pop-Tarts. Through listening to it in my comfortable waking state, I had an epiphany. The cool, crazy fun of the record fit my mood perfectly, and each wild note rang with refreshing, unabashed enthusiasm. My head began bobbing and it was then that it happened. I became a convert.

Been there, tried that? Well my friend, I think you owe the band one last try, and lucky for you, this EP is the perfect place to start. Drum roll please…all of these songs are between three to five minutes (save for the very last one). That’s right, there are no tedious ten minute running times. But you know what? The Furnaces cram just as much spontaneity in these songs, with things shifting gears just as often as on their second release. Now, there’s no way you can tell me that some of those crazy melodies and sounds on Blueberry Boat wouldn’t compress together to make a sweet assed three minute experimental pop single. Because that’s what this EP is. A bunch of sweet assed singles. Well…they all could be.

The new take on “Tropical Iceland” is so hot that I’ve decided to add it into every other play list on my college radio show. “Single Again,” “Here Comes the Summer” and “Evergreen” flow into one after the other to create an indestructible three song hydra monster. On top of these moments of crazy pop bliss you still get the mandatory mini-epic songs with lyrics that read out like a novella (tracks seven through ten). Now, if all of this sounds a bit too Who-ish for you, relax. This stuff isn’t nearly the same. This stuff is that stuff after forgetting a prescribed dose of Ritalin. This is your cure if you can’t take one more derivative post-punk band.

I’ll say it again; a lot of EPs are just not worth the price. Unless it’s a much desired new morsel of material from a band you love with fierce dedication, most of the time it’s much wiser to wait for the full length. It’s easy for a music critic to say that an EP is totally worth getting, but that’s because most of us don’t have to pay hard earned cash for a few measly songs. I say this because I’d like to be well heard on my next and final point.

This new EP from The Fiery Furnaces is more fun than most albums being released today.

- Andrew Iliadis

/mar 1st 2005/