The 25-year-old Evanston native's debut album is a bruising, beguiling journey
By Mark Guarino
That bloody nose on the cover of Ezra Furman's debut solo album, The Year of No Returning, couldn't be the result of foul play, right? The Furman we know is a lover, not a fighter. After all, this is the 25-year-old Evanston native who wrote a song for every single fan who bought one of his band's previous albums. And yet the new release-Furman's first without his former group, the Harpoons-takes a left turn into darker fare: "Now let me take your hand and show you through the twisted hallways," he sings in the rock anthem "American Soil." The journey is bruising but beguiling: "Are You Gonna Break My Heart?" is sexy and threatening, while the strutting "That's When It Hit Me" is laced with slurpy blues guitar. Freed from the role of bandleader, Furman sounds like an angry young man hitting his stride. Hear for yourself when the San Francisco transplant returns for two shows at Schubas.