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Fiery Furnaces 

EP

Wednesday, Jan 12 2005
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Every time the Fiery Furnaces need to release a single, none of their album cuts seems to work, so instead they record a new song, and almost all of them are finally collected on this budget-priced 10-track release. EP assembles the Furnaces' best A-sides, along with a set of intriguing, sometimes half-baked songs filled with storybook narratives and 80-ton guitar riffs. Compared to last year's monsterpiece, Blueberry Boat, this disc can lope and meander, especially on the multipart "Smelling Cigarettes" and "Duffer St. George," which feel like trial runs for Blueberry's epics. But "Single Again" and "Tropical Iceland" offer thorny bouquets of synths and squeals, and "Sing for Me" starts off fey but speeds to a pleasing gallop. EP makes for a terrific recap before the Furnaces once again change gears later this year with Garfield El, aka the "grandmother record," so named because that's who shares the vocals with Eleanor Friedberger. If that sounds dubious, EP may charm you into giving FF a lot of leeway.

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Chris Dahlen

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