As the world spirals into bad hair, questionable emails, and things that we think mean things that don’t really mean what we think they mean (know what I mean?) holding true to oneself becomes an even bigger hurdle.
For Bay-Area maestro Ezra Furman, it’s going to take more than angry speeches and shady campaign funds to knock him off his path.
Following up Perpetual Motion People, Furman recently dropped Big Fugitive Life. The six-track release may be shorter in length, but it is certainly not lacking in quality.
While, in the ears of this writer, Furman can do no wrong, Fugitive is best defined as a punk séance spinning grandad’s records spouting out provocative thoughts in a semblance that is one part genius, one part revolutionary. Seriously, on a scale of Taylor Swift-to-brilliant, Furman is the flagship for all that is great stewing underground in the United States. All the expectations are met. He confidently displays the return of angst, horns, and melodic chaos that keeps me coming back to Furman again and again. With a slurring string and casual strum, “Teddy I’m Ready” builds the EP before exploding.
Whether casual listen or contemplative analysis, Furman embodies an identifiably uncommon sound reminiscent of the Iggy Pops of yesteryear. Taking a slightly departure from his riotous sound in latter tracks of the EP, I found it striking as “Splash of Light” begins to ring closer to the Bay Area’s Rin Tin Tiger than Furman’s previous work.
As it winds down, Big Fugitive Life becomes a stroll through sorrowful reflection purposefully wearing a heart-on-its-sleeve shroud, putting emotion out there for the world without a care for pity or sympathy but a longing for understanding which might never come. Plainly put, it is musical brilliance paired nicely with against-the-current style.
Big Fugitive Life, albeit shorter than Day of the Dog or Perpetual Motion does a hell of a job reiterating the prowess of Ezra Furman without sacrificing, even in the slightest, the qualities that make his sound so captivating. And while that may sound like simply “throwing another log on the fire” it really is more of another brush stroke in a painting I long to see continued for a very long time.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.