If punk's ever had a John Lennon, it hasta be Ezra Furman, and nothing shows that more clearly than Day of the Dog. He and his The Harpoons band have been releasing material since 2007 but, now in an angry young man incarnation offering up a doleful voice rasping in indignation and leashed fury, one cannot escape the Imagine work of the esteemed Beatle. The promo lit accompanying the advance copy also cites Dylan, the Pixies, Buddy Holly, and the Damned as kindred, but, no, t'ain't so. This is pure Lennon crossed up with a bit of Johnny Rotten and even The Contortions. Although, hm, yeah, maybe I'll go with the analogue to The Damned. That was a good fucking band.
Day is raw and in your face, wallowing in primal emotions sometimes minimally spiced up, leavened ornamentally in order to paste decorum onto the whole affair. This works hellishly well in the spare piano chords glazing Cold Hands and elsewhere, almost inducing chuckles, as when Blue Oyster Cult did the same sort of thing, throwing patrician grace into snarky sonic commentaries and faux mannered graces. Furman's mien, one can see even through the CD, is one of snarling defiance and sharp-edged temper.
Punk isn't dead, it just smells funny, and if there's a hope in hell of it justifying its borderline legacy past the 80s, it lies in works like this one. There's real bloody genuine proletariat art here, the sort of disc that makes people either wake up and recall just what the fuck they got into the modus for or else, in the rebellious young, starts 'em up the right way. A combination of what would have been honky-tonk, had it been written 70 years ago, and 60s Lord Sutch-y rawk, it's almost the purgatorial interzone where Holy John meets The Stooges. Dark, nasty, raucous, but funner 'n shit, too.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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