Fiery Furnaces – Bitter Tea Review

Website: The Fiery Furnaces

The Inside Pulse:
You can say a lot about the Fiery Furnaces. You can say that some of their songs are incredibly bad. You can say that they are pretty damn strange. But you can’t call them lazy. Bitter Tea is their fifth album in two years, and a return to actual “music”. Rehearsing My Choir was quite possibly the worst album of the year, and it’s nice to see them bounce back to form so quickly. Hell, maybe they’ll put out another one in six months that’s even better than this one. Who knows. Fact is, The Fiery Furnaces are a two-headed brother & sister dragon of reverse hooks, incredible imagery and heart. And they will never, ever be played on the radio.


Bitter Tea is something you can listen to pretty much all the way through without throwing your headphones down in pain, which is a nice switch. Even Blueberry Boat had moments that strained even the patient. “Teach Me Sweetheart” is a nice ballad. “Waiting to Know You” is a cool little dance number. “Oh Sweet Words” is fun because it changes it’s tone and complete list of instruments a few times. It’s actually a nice refresher course on what’s to like about the band in general. Oh, and “Police Sweater Blood Vow” might be their best song, ever.


Even at their most accessible, The Fiery Furnaces won’t be appreciated by people lacking hipster ears. The lyric loops, the back and forth logic, the broken beats, the nine minute conceptuals that should really be four different songs; it’s a lot to chew for someone not used to this sort of thing.

Take a good Regina Spektor album and have The Liars remix it.

Reason To Buy:
You’re ready to forgive them for Rehearsing My Choir. Or, you’re curious what that weird hype is about. Or, you noticed Blueberry Boat on your much-cooler younger sisters’ ipod and thought they might be worth a spin. Either way works.