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