Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Every time I hear Ezra Furman and his Harpoons (Job Mukkada, Adam Abrutyn and Andrew Langer), it's hard not thinking that my more youthful years really were wasted. They could have been so much more. They could have been more rebellious and they could have been more tumult-filled. They could have been made out of all kinds of frowned upon benders and actions that were completely ill-advised. I could have given my parents better fits. Come to think of it, they had it too easy, but it's the same kind of easy that I hope awaits me with my children someday. May they be as much like their old man and only somewhat like a squirrely and playfully mischievous Furman, whose shifty-eyed look and nervously, maniacal smile give you all indication that he's up to something, or he's just got a stampede of hyperactive and potentially unsettling thoughts plowing through his head at all times.
When you listen to his music and you get to know him, you know that it's just his mind carrying him away, getting the best of him, forcing him to write the confessional and frenetic songs that he writes. He lives of himself as he learns more about what's making him do the things he does and behave the way that he behaves. He's like a warm bottle of Dr. Pepper that gets intensely shaken up, only there's no way to unscrew his top to relieve all of that pressure and build up. Only small fractions of that energy can ever really leave him and it causes him continual resistance to normality. He has panic attacks, as you'll soon learn. He has lots and lots of panic attacks. They seem suited for him. He claims that they make it impossible to relax and he seems really fucked up by them, but he might not know what to do with himself if they were ever to go away completely. He might just feel dead inside and given the choice between feeling too alive inside and dead there, you'd always choose feeling too alive, one might think. Furman's music continues to become more and more stricken with his electric personality as he just unloads himself into his clever and smart lyrics.
It's that mixture of Daniel Johnston's hyper-analytical-ness, something akin to Deer Tick's wonderful booziness, Jerry Lee Lewis's fire that we've not really heard happen before and then all of it getting run over by a lawn mower. He's young and it sounds like he's always going to be young. He wants to be young. It allows him all kinds of advantages, while he might not have to worry about the disadvantages. He can just go ahead and do stuff, act certain ways and kiss it all off to something wonderful like immaturity or misinformation. Not knowing any better is as good of a defense as any and when it comes to material for a song, that's the goose that lays the golden eggs.