Ezra Furman, whilst always sounding like Ezra Furman, tends to dabble in different rock sub-genres. With new album Twelve Nudes, he claims it is a punk record. He hurt his throat through singing so hard whilst making it, so there is blood on the tracks here. It was recorded in Oakland, CA under the influence of booze and cigarettes. The title refers to the songs on the album being there with nothing to hide.
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Anarcheeeee! 'Twelve Nudes' is the ninth studio record from Ezra Furman, and one he's described it as a "punk record". I'll be the judge of that, sunshine.
'Twelve Nudes' sounds scuzzy and poppy. It can convey the kind of snarling nihilist angst that the slightly hyperbolic press release says it does but, and this might be because I've been listening to lots of the Gerogerigegege recently, at times 'Twelve Nudes' sounds like a band playing at being pugnacious.
There are some great moments like the heavy, walloping chorus of 'Trauma' and the really chewy guitar tone on 'Thermometer' that sounds like a wasp in a volleyball. I also adore the gorgeously winsome vocals at the introduction of 'Transition From Nowhere to Nowhere'. Interestingly, it's one of the album's high points. I think the focus on 'body', rather than 'head', music has put Furman at a disadvantage. The slower numbers like 'I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend' and 'What Can You Do But Rock 'n' Roll' are far more interesting and, funnily enough, more intense than the faster, heavier ones.
Even though 'Twelve Nudes' sounds deliberately aggressive and snarling, it's saved by the songwriting chops displayed on the slower numbers.
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