Review by Steve Dean
Having seen Herzoga play not so long ago, I was pleased to receive their new single to review and I was even more pleased with what I heard. Released on the We Like Danger! label, this CD has tracks that make you want to listen to them again, and that’s a very good start.
More obvious recorded than live, the band’s general sound has overtones of a more raw-sounding Stranglers, but that’s maybe more down to Steve Clarke’s nifty bass riffs more than any other factor. Herzoga pretty much have a sound of their own.
‘Nice Car’ has a fittingly nice choppy intro leading into just such a suitably driving bassline. In essense, this track is honest-to-goodness rock with some neat touches. The effective vocals are somewhere between singing and reciting and the motor engine-like backing voices are inspired. A great opening number.
Second track ‘Blood School’ has a similar vocal style, but much more punkier in overall approach. I do like Herzoga’s habit of putting proper intros to their songs as well. The composition has a vague flavour of old time rock‘n’roll about it and the vocal backing chants put me in mind of the the Rolling Stones’ classic ‘Sympathy for the Devil’; but that is no means a bad thing; they tend to lend ‘Blood School’ a definite character of its own despite anything it may remind me of. Sharp, cutting chords over a rolling up-and-down bassline make this a good strong number and I would guess it’s a live favourite.
Bonus track ‘It Takes an Age’ boasts yet another cracking bass line and also features some interestingly theatrical vocals. As I said earlier, bassist Steve with Matt and Mark on guitar and drums respectively, have a sound of their own which is growing in popularity all the time; as their recent session for BBC Radio 1 at Maida Vale demonstrates.
I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before greater recognition still comes their way.
There is also a video on the CD to accompany ‘Nice Car’; mainly a collection of band photos taken at various settings. Interesting nonetheless.
For some Herzoga right now, go to www.myspace.com/herzogaband and get a listen.