A punk rock cry for help to anyone willing to listen
Just a year and a half after his most recent release Transangelic Exodus, American singer-songwriter Ezra Furman has released his 8th album to date Twelve Nudes. Recorded through Bella Union, Furman created his latest work in Oakland, California with great angst for the world to hear it. “Desperate times make for desperate songs” Furman mentions in an interview with Bella Union. Written completely in the summer of 2018, Furman admits that the album is, “the sound of me struggling to admit that I’m not okay with the current state of human civilization.”
Throughout the 11 tracks on Twelve Nudes, Furman releases his pent up aggression and energy. In the opening track “Calm Down (aka I Should Not Be Alone),” ’90s rock and rock and indie-pop melodies collide to create the most catchy song on the album. The punk rock vibe continues throughout each track and comes to a head-on “Rated R Crusaders,” a track that plays heavily on the idea of taking a stance on conflict throughout the world. With lyrics like, “you thought U was on your side but I’m just out for peace” Furman never lacks confidence or pose when speaking of the issues he finds most troubling. “What Can You Do But Rock N Roll” lets Furman scream and shout about civil liberties. With what sounds like a bit of influence from Jack White and classic rock sounds, the track is astoundingly short at two minutes and 33 seconds that you truly wish for more.
“Transition from Nowhere to Nowhere” starts with a gentle acoustic guitar and leads the singer right into the uncomfortable topic of death. Aside from “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” a 50s inspired finger-wagging good time, and “In America,” an ode to Bruce Springsteen, most of the album blends together as one long angsty punk anthem. This is not to say that the lyricism that Furman puts forward is not some of his best, because it is. His whole heart and soul can be heard between each word as he urges towards a better tomorrow.