Album review

The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark

At last! A genuinely refreshing US import free from the baggage of garage-rock or CBGB's. Like a no-wave Carpenters, bro and sis Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger seem fit to burst with pop hooks, bonkers lyrics about asthma attacks and snagglepusses, and all manner of weird and wonderful rhythms from punk to ragtime. Whiffs of early Fall ("Crystal Clear"), Velvets ("Leaky Tunnel" owes much to "European Son") and a tangible Magnetic Fields kookiness aside, this may well be the most exhilarating debut of the year.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are...