JR Ewing CD review [GSL]

Music Reviews
JR Ewing CD review [GSL]
Mar 4, 2003, 02:48


JR EWING Ride Paranoia CD

Chances are good that most of JR Ewing's core audience wasn't even born in 1980, when America was gripped in “Who Shot JR?” mania over the popular TV drama Dallas. So it's even more odd that the Oslo, Norway based five-piece band of suave twenty-somethings would name itself after that evil character. Regardless, Norway's self-incriminating sinister characters bash out an incredibly tight and compelling mix of Angel Hair's screamed vocals, angular guitars and brooding overtones combined with the rhythmic impulsion and wiry clean-toned guitar lines of Hot Snakes. JR Ewing's American debut is a powerful blast of angst that shows the group becoming increasingly more versatile and inventive since its previous Scandinavian releases. Lead guitarist Erlend Mokkelbost's clever chiming chord combinations lock in with Hakon Mella's more subdued riffs and bassist Petter Snekkestad's downplayed lines, while drummer Kenneth Lamond plays some incredibly rollicking beats Keith Moon-style and with fills that possess the razor-sharp precision of Dave Grohl. Vocalist Andreas Tilden's monochromatic scream and prosaic lyrics are tedious at times. But, the band's live show is so impressive and memorable that it all comes together perfectly when listening to the album. While early Gravity Records bands like Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Clikitat Ikatowi and Angel Hair had more frantic, loose energy, JR Ewing are definitely keeping that sound alive and well-oiled (lame Dallas pun intended). [GSL]

-Dave Clifford

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