Ezra Furman – “Are You Gonna Break My Heart”
Pairs Well With…Bruce Springsteen, The Ramones, Ryan Adams
Ezra Furman is receiving his third OEB SXSW write-up in as many years, certainly a first and a maybe an only for the rest of the project. Furman returns to Austin next year in support of 2012’s mellower effort The Year of No Returning. It’s interesting to note that Furman dropped “and the Harpoons” for this year’s conference, so expect a pared down set at SXSW this year.
2011 Review: a garage rock/alt-country band from Chicago. Anyone following Operation Every Band for the past couple of weeks may have noticed a lack of garage rock bands being highlighted despite the breadth of bands in this genre that play this type of music. Admittedly I’m not much of a fan of the distorted punk-infused sound, but Ezra Furman offers a slightly different take on the genre that is appealing. They combine 60’s style melodies and some heavier alt-country into their music creating something truly unique. It’s a little easier to see the pop songs they layer energy and distortion on top of to gain a further appreciation for their music. More than that, Ezra Furman’s band is a great deal of fun, a band you can shake your fist in the air with a little in between the more experimental acts at SXSW.
Ezra Furman – “Mysterious Power”
Ezra Furman can sure write a pop song. Furman and his band The Harpoons (not listed as part of SXSW, so this may be a solo set or it’s just an omission on the website) have a garage rock mentality, but it’s all just oh so catchy. There’s no single element that stands out, the music is fairly simple and Furman’s voice struggles around the notes in an endearing way. The songwriting completely makes up for that, which in fact just allows that minimalist punk rock sound to completely shine. It’s similar to what Neutral Milk Hotel captured on their records, letting Furman’s songwriting truly take center stage.