The Fiery Furnaces Remember

The Fiery Furnaces Remember
It’ll be hard to forget the Fiery Furnaces after hearing this mutated mammoth freak of a live album. Consistency has always been an issue for the group on record, their sheer volume of output occasionally suffocating their many moments of genius with clusters of indulgent mediocrity. So how the hell do they sound so friggin’ awesome throughout 51 tracks spread over two hours and 12 minutes and two discs? Well, all the band configurations represented are all manic, muscular beasts of spastic progressive precision. Matthew Friedburger and sister Eleanor lead drummer Roberto D’Amico and bassist/recording engineer Jason Loewenstein through radical reinventions of material spanning their entire discography. Free of grandmother Olga’s spoken rasp, the group rejuvenate Rehearsing My Choir material, with "A Candymaker’s Knife In My Handbag” and "Slavin’ Away” particularly benefiting from the makeovers. It’s even more thrilling to finally hear what the heck the lyrics are to the reversed vocals of Bitter Tea cut "Vietnamese Telephone Ministry,” which sounds equally fantastic in this form, though almost completely unrecognisable beyond some lyrics and a familiar musical phrase or two, much like the majority of the album. In their ceaseless pursuit for reinvention and commitment to musical boundary-pushing, the Fiery Furnaces have created one of the most truly essential live albums ever released and one of the most fiercely and schizophrenically progressive albums of this young century. (Thrill Jockey)