If there were such a thing as a world heavyweight title for live music performances, the ruling champion would surely be Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band (RM & JHB). After four years of extensive touring, criss-crossing Europe and playing everything from obscure clubs to the huge festivals, they have become a name that circulates everywhere when people are after a good time. For RM & JHB is not just a band, it is a concept, and the concept is to manifest an outburst of sheer energy, to give people a vehicle for their unlimited uncontrollable desire to let go and have fun.
The live shows are magnificent demonstrations of insight into the primal nature of an audience. The combination of massive beats -resembling primeval invocations of war- and a pyrotechnical spectacle that caters to ancient archetypes of “fire in the night,” makes for an experience tantamount to the most breathtaking of events in Rome’s Coliseum. But where Nero topped it all off with slaughter and blood, Ralph Myerz spread out carpets of melody, woven by the rare earworms they keep locked in their computers, and infuse into crowds -ten thousand strong- a compelling surge, to dance!
And it is not just live that this band is so irresistible. Across Europe trend-setting DJs have flooded the floors with this broth of Norwegian electro rock and seen what wonders it works with the crowds. And judging by the sales of their albums their music has fuelled one or two private parties as well: More than 150 000 copies have been shifted of their two albums “A special album” and “Your new best friends.
These were both released on independent labels, and as the band expresses it: “The entire process, from our debut four years ago, has been one of patience and hard work, a process of gathering a wide following and of figuring out our musical stance. This patient build up has now reached the point of true bloom.”
So with their third album they have come to their own, and confident that their integrity is now unassailable they have also signed with a major label.
“Sharp knives and loaded guns” is just as edgy and intoxicating as the title promises. Throbbing whale hearts and rolling elephant stampedes are flooded with layer upon layer of metal riffs and ultra catchy electronic phrases that snake and swirl and loop around, to create a myriad of interwoven voices, the cacophony of a nice synthetic jungle.
The album was released on in Norway on September 25th as a special-feature open disc, which means that the buyer gets access to lots of extra material and exclusive web-updates. This should make RM & JHB less susceptible to the worries of unauthorized downloading. Not that the world champion of live shows should worry too much about this anyway, since there is no way to cheat your way to that experience.
The guys are itching to perform it live, they say, which will happen as the Norwegian tour starts at the end of the month. sd
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Genre\Popular Music, CD Releases