M.C. Escher Gets His Ya-Yas Out! might have been a more appropriate title to the Fiery Furnaces' two-disc, forty-song live album, which encapsulates three years of touring into two brutally twisting, shapeshifted hours of synapse-shattered art-pop. The live music picks up where the studio recordings left off, as Matthew and Eleanor Freidberger push their sound into even more off-kilter rooms of sideways, aural-illusion deconstructions. The noise is less garage and more meth lab as they whiplash throughout synth-addled rock to throat-torn punk to chiming pop.
Stitched together from countless live dates, Remember is intended to be a representative mosaic of an entire era rather than a singular, definitive concert. The songs blur into one another, edited to form a metal-machine grind of music that, while certainly exhausting -- there’s even a disclaimer on the album: “Do not attempt to listen to all at once” -- maintains a kind of lurid appeal in its dogged attempts to capture a three-year journey within the constraints of a double LP.
Yes, it can be overwhelming, but so is staring at music videos with your face one inch from the screen. Stand back, though, and you can see a narrative emerge. The same can be said for Remember. Besides, it sounds better than anything you’re watching on MTV2.