Ezra Furman’s voice is a venomous rasp. His lyrics the righteousness of teenage runaways. Synthesisers buzz like a swarm of hornets and drum machines bruise like a boxer’s hooks. ‘Transangelic Exodus’ is the sound of the 21st century western world’s rage. By his lyrics’ admission, Furman has ‘got the digital content blues,’ and he’s ‘sick of waiting for my deus ex machina.’ And he’s spitting at the grime-encrusted third eyes of the world’s placated.
Suck The Blood From My Wound opens the album like a mad dog released from its cage. A frothing, dangerous creature that lashes out at anything that catches its attention. Heavy metal has a stranglehold on the market for angry music in this age. But Furman proves on ‘Transangelic Exodus’ that punk, electronic and even pop are far from spent forces. That with not a down-tuned guitar in sight, one can rage and thrash and spit to thrilling effect.
The percussion on ‘Transangelic Exodus’ grooves and pummels in a decidedly ‘Flowers Of Romance’ fashion. Indeed, that venomous rasp owes a debt to John Lydon/Rotten’s iconic sneer. The spirit of ‘…The Bollocks’ survives on in albums like ‘Transangelic Exodus.’ It doesn’t sound the way it did in 1977. But it shouldn’t.
On Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 At Goodwill Furman howls ‘sometimes you go through Hell and you never get to Heaven.’ This is a person with the blues. Not a bluesy sound by any stretch. But the deep-set blues of unanswered questions and unsatisfactory answers. Love You So Bad proves that a great pop song need not be filled with the joys of life. And when Furman sneers ‘I suck all the life out of everything I see,’ on Come Here Get Away From Me he sounds genuinely vampiric. And the guitar riff sets hair on end with its Tarantino-esque chill.
‘Transangelic Exodus’ sounds of unsettling confusion. He’s going somewhere in that red Camaro he keeps mentioning in his lyrics but it’s unlikely even he knows where. Like that Springsteen lyric ‘…I took a wrong turn and I just kept going.’
Furman’s latest LP has thrills and chills and jump-scares and all the uncertainty of growing up. He sounds downright jaunty when he sings ‘I lost my innocence,’ on the closing track of the same name. But then a hyper-distorted lead guitar scars the track. And the uncertainty bleeds from the track once again.
‘Transangelic Exodus’ is an angry record. And there are too few of those on the shelves these days. But it’s a fine addition to a long line of boundary-pushers and envelope-rippers. A family line that was in danger of dying out.