Boomkat Product Review:
They're productive aren't they? In just three years, the Furnaces have popped out four full length albums (including this one) and one mini album... each seemingly more daring and ambitious than the last. Many thought they had lost the plot with their last theatrical disaster, a concept album which seemed to lack the structure necessary for a coherent listening experience. Thank goodness, then, that the Furnaces have heeded the warnings of their critics, crafting 'Bitter Tea' with a step back to the brilliance of the wonderful 'Blueberry Boat'. The first thing you notice on this record is the abundance of harpsichord, this combined with Matt Friedberger's incredibly distinctive sci-fi synthplay, making these pieces sound utterly alien. Title track 'Bitter Tea' sounds like a German techno record being played backwards while Delia Derbyshire's decaying synths errupt in the back room - it's utterly wrong, but at the same time a breath of fresh air for both pop and experimental music. I'm not sure what it is, it's too odd to be straight pop, but far too pop to be welcomed in by experimentalists. Thank goodness that this brother-sister duo have the guts to attempt something like this then, and no they're not always successful, but when they can make music as ballsy as this, and make it not only unusual but hugely enjoyable - we're with them all the way, warts n' all.