“Twelve Nudes continues with Ezra’s career of bold work and damn right this is his punk record; we love it.”

When Ezra Furman announced Twelve Nudes and described it as “our punk record” we didn’t know what we were to expect but Ezra has never been an artist to shy away from bold work so we knew this was a statement that he would live up to. Twelve Nudes continues Ezra’s career of bold work and damn right this is his punk record; we love it.

Reading the press release that came over with this record Ezra Furman has almost written his album review for us only missing giving it a scoring (cheers Ezra, we can do that bit). The album sounds exactly as you would expect given the environment it was created in; Ezra commented that “We drank and smoked. Then we made the loud parts louder. I hurt my voice screaming. This was back in 2018, when things were bad in the world. The songs are naked with nothing to hide.”

The opening track Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone being the first single that gave us a window into Twelve Nudes. When and album opens with a marching bassline unfurling into the lyric “happiness was never guaranteed…” it’s clear that emotions will be riding high on this record. Ironically our first thoughts on the record were that it’s a primal beast which was confirmed with Ezra described it as “more animal than intellectual”.

“Evening Prayer is campfire punk-rock… Fuck Wonderwall, Evening Prayer is where lifelong friendships are made.”

From the very first line of Twelve Nudes the production styling on Ezra’s vocal reeked of an album which was impossible to decipher until the trashed acoustic guitar on Evening Prayer aka Justice revealed that styling to be similar to Against Me and in particular the work on the album Reinventing Axl Rose. Evening Prayer is campfire punk-rock, music best replicated screaming around a fire with a bunch of mates and an acoustic guy; fuck Wonderwall, Evening Prayer is where lifelong friendships are made.

Ezra Furman continues to be icon to celebrate our difficulties and unite; never has a generation needed an artist as much as now.”

Ezra Furman has said that Green Day’s seminal album Dookie gave him a wake-up call as a teen because “the songs were all about being maladjusted, which I began wearing as a badge of honour.” From Green Day Ezra this led him to Sex Pistols “and I was never the same again.” Whether it’s primarily acoustic number Transition From Nowhere To Nowhere or bouncing number Thermometer this body of work the closest illustration of the change that Green Day and Sex Pistols forced upon him back then. Ezra Furman continues to be icon to celebrate our difficulties and unite; never has a generation needed an artist like Furman as much it does now.

“[Ezra Furman pulls off I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend] in a manner similar to Lou Reed’s work on Transformer.

Our second insight into Twelve Nudes is the doo-wop number I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend a track that reportedly is laced with influence from Furman’s love for the 50’s but he pulls it off in a manner similar to Lou Reed’s work on Transformer. For Furman’s “Punk album” Twelve Nudes is incredibly diverse.

“For Furman’s “Punk album” Twelve Nudes is incredibly diverse.”

Just when it felt that Furman had exhausted all possibly logical influences he brings yet more. In America is Furman’s Springsteen moniker. It is shock that an dabbled with such varied influences plays so cohesively as a piece; whack it on, don’t overthink it and let your hair down in the way Ezra Furman planned you to.

9/10

Out now on Bella Union.

Words: James Wadsworth @jamespart31

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