Oh you clever kids, you, calling an ‘album’ EP, confusing us dim-witted journo types. Well the joke’s on you, suckers, ‘cause you’ve been rumbled! And what’s more, we can see through your simple indie-pop charm, right through to the evil, capitalist hearts that beat within your affecting, sweet-natured (on a surface level) songs. This isn’t an album at all – it’s a money-grabbing singles compilation. Shame on you! Course, there are a brace of new songs, but we’re not gonna be sold on that gimmick alone. Are we?
Well, maybe, ‘cause let’s face it: The Fiery Furnaces are phenomenally popular amongst quirk-pop loving cool kids. The coolest of the cool will already own the highlights here – the impossibly catchy, for better or worse, ‘Tropical Iceland’ for one – but much pleasure is to be had from simply listening to the likes of ‘Smelling Cigarettes’ and ‘Cousin Chris’ back to back. Lead Furnace Eleanor Friedberger doesn’t really sing as such – she mostly shouts roughly in time with whatever affectingly simple music’s accompanying her – but she manages to sound like a pop starlet all the same. It’s not all saccharine goofiness of course – ‘Single Again’ rather disturbingly marries catchy hooks with a tale of domestic violence – but, for the most part, this is sweet summertime listening. That they’ve released in winter. Ho hum…
Yeah, it’s basically a stopgap to refill the duo’s coffers ‘til their next full-length adventure, but EP should tide fans of last album Blueberry Boat over until this eccentric duo set sail again for real.
6Mike Diver's Score