On their debut album, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Fiery Furnaces—led by commanding singer/guitarist Eleanor Friedberger and ably backed by her pianist/ drummer sibling Matthew—do not deal i

On their debut album, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Fiery Furnaces—led by commanding singer/guitarist Eleanor Friedberger and ably backed by her pianist/ drummer sibling Matthew—do not deal in dour '80s new wave or electro histrionics. Instead, they tackle everything from rickety, Vaudevillian stage songs to raucous and incendiary '60s rock. Eleanor's rich, whiskey-tinted musings on American geography are as much Jagger as they are Patti Smith, and they are the perfect foil to Matthew's terse piano lines and skeletal drumming. The set opens with the bizarre and raging "South Is Only a Home," which sounds like PJ Harvey grinding her high heels into Elton John's piano as the two ride at top speed in an Alabama-bound boxcar. Unnecessary tracks like "Bow Wow" aside, the many great songs here burrow their quirky melodies into your skin, demanding attention.—AK

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