Ezra Furman- Day of the Dog

written by: October 27, 2013
Album-art-for-Day-of-the-Dog-by-Ezra-Furman Release Date: October 8, 2013


Ezra Furman takes being a punk kid to a completely different level with his new album Day of the Dog. If moshing to saxophones is your style, this album is for you.

Day of the Dog opens explosively with “I Wanna Destroy Myself.” A saxophone and piano make an appearance, adding some unexpected instrumentation for such an aggressive track. They are heard throughout the album, especially on “Walk on in Darkness,” giving the album a unique, slightly ska vibe, combined with vintage oldies and rock-n-roll sounds on the rest of the album.

No two tracks are alike. While they mostly include all the same instruments, there is essentially no repetition in sound.

Swinging from “Cold Hands,” a strange love song, to “The Mall,” a ’60s-infused number with much darker lyrics, and around to the title track, a bluesy almost-ballad, Day of the Dog is an eclectic album, but each song has Furman’s stamp. They’re all a strange, indie-rock/punk/folk/blues mixture.

Furman’s songwriting is a little ridiculous, but in a good way. Day of the Dog features pessimistic or self-loathing lyrics juxtaposed with upbeat music. The standout example is the snazzy and jazzy instrumentation of the “Tell ‘Em All to Go to Hell,” in which the title is the main lyric.

When Furman references himself, which is often, it takes shape as rather vivid revulsion. “All the world is rising up like vomit/Filling up my ugly little mouth/There’s a sickness deep inside my eyeball/Got to find the tool to cut it out,” he sings on “I Wanna Destroy Myself.” And on “My Zero,” Furman croons, “I’ve gone away forever/The wrong side of the tracks/My blood all filled with garbage/My heart shot through with cracks.”

Furman’s voice is not easy to listen to. He is shrill, raspy, and out of tune in the best way possible.

It fits for the rest of the instrumentation. Whether the track is zany and spooky, like “Walk on in Darkness,” or slower and channeling Bob Dylan on “Cherry Lane,” Furman’s voice adds another dimension, sonically and emotionally. The music wouldn’t be as intriguing without his voice.

Furman was formerly the frontman of Ezra Furman and the Harpoons. His first solo album, The Year of No Returning, is a bit quirkier than the Harpoons’ sound; Furman took the band’s indie-rock sound and contorted it, creating sonic edges where there were none before. His voice was raspier, the rhythms were less traditional, and the lyrics got a little crazier.

On Day of the Dog, Furman extends the differences further, making a stronger distinction between the Harpoons and his solo work. In an odd way, Day of the Dog is Furman’s surreal interpretation of his own work.

Day of the Dog is unlike much else. From the instrumentation to the voice to the songwriting, Ezra Fruman has crafted an album that makes most people’s inner punk kids and indie-rockers happy with a refreshing new sound.

Ezra Furman – Day of the Dog tracklist:

  1. “I Wanna Destroy Myself”
  2. “Tell Em All to Go to Hell”
  3. “My Zero”
  4. “Day of the Dog”
  5. “Walk on in Darkness”
  6. “Cold Hands”
  7. “Anything Can Happen”
  8. “And Maybe God is a Train”
  9. “Been So Strange”
  10. “The Mall”
  11. “At the Bottom of the Ocean”
  12. “Slacker Adria”
  13. “Cherry Lane”