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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 73 - 09/21/02

Ralph Myerz And The Jack Herren Band
A Special EP
Emperor Norton/Tuba

Electronica combo Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band (RM&TJHVB) has been around for a few years. Enough to build a reputation as a killing live act. True. After seing them live at Öyafestivalen, I was stunned! Their sort of kick-ass-take-no-prisoners (read: take everybody as prisoners, count to 1,000, and let'em go). They hynotize and/or paralyze their audience, to make the crowd start moving around, enthrilled. Two frantic drummers/percussionists pounding skins, sweating blood (almost). Live. On record they're something completely different. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, anyone?

This four track EP (released by US label Emperor Norton) is a foretaste for an album to come next year. Well, some of the songs have been out earlier, on singles and compilations. So, what's so special then? It starts with the laidback "Clouds", with vocals by Berit Killingberg Havåg. And, well, I find this 'cloud' a bit too fluffy. Too smooth, too slick sounding. Former 7" and track "Nikita" (also known from Tellé's Samleplate, which also included other profiled Bergen acts, such as Röyksopp, Frost and Bjørn Torske) is always great. A somewhat cheesy sounding song, like if it's nicked from some odd 70s TV series. "A Special Morning" (off their first 12" release) has got more of a movie feeling. I get this Morricone feeling. Spagetthi-electronica? Final track "Menage à Trois" (also previously released, on the Nikita EP) is a lazy beat goes sleepy. Not enough, or too much sex? Not kinky enough I say.

Well, well. A bit disappointed, yes, I must say. I want some more action next time.

Copyright © 2002 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Ralph Myerz And The Jack Herren Band article/review: Blæst, Trondheim, Norway, 21.03.2003.

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