Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band

Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band

A Special Album

Emperor Norton

Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band are a delightfully energetic live act, something all too rarely experienced in electronic club music. Inspired both by trance music’s instrumentation and KISS’s pyro effects, the trio brilliantly convey visually the hypnotic power of their best songs. On album, however, Ralph Myerz has, perhaps wisely, decided to hold back on the energy, instead emphasizing melody and variation. It’s a bold move, and an effective one too — live music is, after all, better experienced live than in your own home. But as it is, this is only valid where the material itself is actually strong enough to stand up on its own.

As with KISS, Ralph Myerz delivers a far-too-uneven studio set, capturing neither the energy nor the humor of the live show. Sure, there are some splendid moments, notably the groovier chill-out tracks: “Nikita,” “Think Twice” and the fine “Here Is Love.” But elsewhere, songs like “Funky Biznizz,” “Savannah” and “Casino” unsuccessfully try to make the transition from exciting live material to interesting studio tracks.

At their best, Ralph Myerz &anp; Co. are reminiscent of the best from Coldcut’s once relevant Ninja Tune label, sharp and focused electronic music that defies the lounge that spawned it. And for those moments, A Special Album actually lives up to its semi-ironic cheesy-’70s title. It’s far from a uniform success, but there is still more than enough on here to warrant the “exciting & upcoming” label awarded to these guys by electronic music media.

Emperor Norton: http://www.emperornorton.com/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

  • Taraka

    Welcome to Paradise Lost (Rage Peace). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • AFI Fest 2021
    AFI Fest 2021

    The 2021 edition of the American Film Institute’s Festival, was a total success. After mounting a small virtual festival in 2020, AFI Fest came roaring back this year with a slate of 115 films representing over fifty countries. Lily and Generoso rank their favorite features from this year’s festival which include new offerings from Céline Sciamma, Miguel Gomes, and Jacques Audiard.

  • Comet Of Any Substance
    Comet Of Any Substance

    Full Of Seeds, Bursting With Its Own Corrections (COAS). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Poetic Song Verse
    Poetic Song Verse

    A study of how poetry crept into rock and roll.

  • Foreigner

    Is it really Foreigner with no original members?

From the Archives