The Fiery Furnaces

The Fiery Furnaces can’t seem to decide what kind of band it wants to be. From the beginning, the sound has been informed by the simple and evocative melodies of finely crafted pop tunes, but the band also has a penchant for playing around with the basics, taking a straightforward tune and sending it skittering off in a thousand directions at once. The tug of war between the band’s classicist inclinations and experimental aspirations is a constant, but for the past several releases, it seems that the mad scientists have been winning. This summer’s I’m Going Away pulls the band in the other direction. If the band needed proof that it hasn’t gone too far afield, this is certainly it; the album is focused on simplicity and the perfection of form Fortunately, the Freibergers couldn’t completely eliminate the quirkiness that so typifies even their most straightforward efforts. Melodies occasionally turn serpentine, form studies turn in on themselves, and stabs of jazzy mayhem punctuate the overall soft sound; it is comforting and thrilling at the same time. With Cryptacize, Dent May. All ages. NICHOLAS HALL

Wed., Nov. 18, 8 p.m., 2009

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