The Nerk Twins | Either Way

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Either Way

by The Nerk Twins

OUT OF PRINT-DOWNLOADS ONLY. Jeff Murphy (Shoes) and Herb Eimerman team up to produce this jangle-pop collection of tunes that takes a melodic approach, ala The Everly Brothers meets Tom Petty during The Beatles White album sessions.
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
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1. What Does It Take?
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3:45 $0.99
2. Either Way
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3:25 $0.99
3. In The Middle Of The Night
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4:08 $0.99
4. I'm Broke
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3:04 $0.99
5. Stay Away
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4:02 $0.99
6. Dream For Love
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3:24 $0.99
7. I Love Jamaica
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1:44 $0.99
8. Cast In Stone
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3:59 $0.99
9. I Still Don't Love You Anymore
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2:47 $0.99
10. On & On & On
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3:12 $0.99
11. She Said
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3:52 $0.99
12. 2 Women
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3:35 $0.99
13. Ugly
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1:12 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Nerk Twins are two. Hence, the name. A perfect fit for this pair of musical wunderkinds! In an ode to all that is melodic, fun and what music is, and should be. This CD flies in the face of slick, corporate bands in favor of a,... well, un-slick, uncorporate approach. Born as the brain-child of Jeff Murphy (Shoes) and Herb Eimerman (Herb Eimerman) the songs here represent what can happen when the babysitter disappears in the bathroom for a little too long. Guest appearances by John Murphy and Gary Klebe (Shoes) certainly adds to the festivities. If The Beatles' "Hey, Bulldog" or "You Know My Name, Look Up the Number" mixed with The Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown" tickles your musical senses, check this out. Some folks get it, some folks don't. You should be one of the folks that gets it!


Reviews


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Rick Anderson

Resounding Success
This obscure jangle-pop duo has made a fine album that is, unfortunately, almost impossible to find, but well worth the effort. Out of thirteen songs, nine are gems. The disc opens with the sublime "What Does It Take?," and an ode to unrequited love that grabs you gently by the scruff of the neck and runs off with your heart. "Either Way" is an ode to actual requited love with a chord progression that Lennon and McCartney would have been proud to write. "2 Women" is a twisted country song about being in love with a schizophrenic, disguised as a song about a menage à trois. The Twins (whose real names are Jeff Murphy and Herb Eimerman) sing with a sweet wistfulness that never gets cloying, even at its sweetest. Everywhere is a cockeyed humor that never rests on mere quirkiness -- it's impossible to detect any irony in the sappy "I Love Jamaica," and "Ugly" features the classic line "If you weren't so ugly I'd ask you out," followed two minutes later by the tag "...is what she said to me." Not everything works perfectly ("Dream for Love" never picks up any momentum, for instance), but overall this disc is a resounding success. ~ Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Christopher Thelen

Pure Pop Music In Not Dead
Pure pop music is not dead... it is alive and well and is embodied by The Nerk Twins.

The who ? You can blame this collaboration on Jeff Murphy (of the cult-classic pop band Shoes) and Herb Eimerman, who combine their multi-instrument talents and vocals to create one of the most refreshing albums I've heard in years, Either Way.

For someone like myself who knows nothing about Murphy's old band (except for what he's read from Robert Christgau), it might have beneficial to go into this album with a clean slate - no preconceived notions, no real expectations. What quickly blares forth from the headphones is an incredible array of vocals, guitar (with a 12-string sound not unlike The Byrds and Tom Petty) bass and drums, with some piano, banjo and violin thrown in for good measure. Both Eimerman and Murphy are very capable singers, and while each has his own style of vocals, they wisely know which style fits the corresponding song.

The title track is an example of how much fun Murphy and Eimerman must have been having in the studio. Eimerman's tuba-like bass lines reminded me a bit of Free, and his clarinet solo - you read that right, clarinet solo - is just quirky enough to work perfectly. Likewise, the silly sing-song quality of the lyrics is by no means hokey, but makes the song stand out as one of the better numbers on the album.

If you're looking for a slice of power-pop like was heard on rock radio in the late '70s and early '80s, then hie yourself to tracks like "What Does It Take?", "In The Middle Of The Night" "On & On & On" or "I Still Don't Love You Anymore". As much as these numbers provide a pleasant flashback, they also keep a sense of present-day to not make them sound like clones - wonderful! (I wouldn't mind hearing a song like "In The Middle Of The Night" make it onto one of the big Chicago radio stations... you listening, WTMX or WLUP? Hey, WKQX... how's about you throwing "Either Way" into the Cage Match?)

At times, the light-hearted mood of Either Way can work in favor of Murphy and Eimerman. Songs like "I'm Broke" are quirky enough to be enhoyable. On a few, like "I Love Jamaica," the same magic just isn't there (and I'm probably the only one who'll say anything, but I found it a bit annoying to have the rain stick keep stopping and starting). "2 Women" likewise loses the magic, taking a theme that could have worked to the band's advantage, while "Ugly" is simply a throwaway track.

But for the few mistakes on Either Way, Murphy and Eimerman quickly redeem themselves with numbers like "Cast In Stone" and "Stay Away". With the help of some of their friends (including drummers Bill Bobrowski and John Richardson), the Nerk Twins sound is rounded out perfectly. (Murphy's brother and fellow band-mate John lends a hand with backing vocals. I'd like to have provided more background, but none of my books or usually dependable Web sites I use for research have been helpful.)

So, if you're a long-time Shoes fan, how will you react to Either Way? Well, I don't know. (Denise Henderson was so pissed that I didn't assign this review to her - she's a long-time Shoes fan, as well as someone who likes to rip into me because I don't seem to like pop music.) My guess is that you'll love this disc just as much - it most likely is a natural progression for Murphy.

Either Way is a disc that restores some of my faith in simple, no-nonsense and, when the mood is right, slightly oddball music that wins over even the toughest ear. Don't let the name fool you - the Nerk Twins mean some serious business. Here's hoping that Murphy and Eimerman win the success they so richly deserve.

Rating: A



THE NERK TWINS - Either Way (CD, Broken Records, Pop)
Upbeat, exhilerating pop music that's super melodic and catchy. The Nerk Twins is the duo of Jeff Murphy (from the Shoes) and his pal Herb Eimerman. This CD is refreshing in three ways. First, it's just good damn music. Second, because it shows a different side of Mr. Murphy's songwriting skills outside his regular band. Third, because it brings Herb Eimerman to our attention...this guy is GOOD. Either Way contains plenty of melodic pop anchored by cool harmonies and chiming guitars, and the sum of the parts is amazingly commercial sounding. All the songs are good, but standouts for me are "What Does It Take?", "Either Way," "Stay Away," and "She Said."



ARTIST: The Nerk Twins SONG/ALBUM: Either Way GENRE: Alternative RATING: 5
It was John Lennon and Paul McCartney who first used the name, playing as a duo in 1960. The new Nerk Twins are Jeff Murphy, long a member of the Chicago pop-rock cult band Shoes, and musician Herb Eimerman. Both play guitars and many other instruments, including piano, violin, and clarinet. In fact, they sing or play virtually everything on this album except for drums and a few harmonies provided by Murphy's fellow Shoes, John Murphy and Gary Klebe. Most of the Murphy and Eimerman originals on Either Way evoke the sound of 1964-66, when bands like the Beatles and the Byrds combined rock-and-roll drive, Motown melodicism, and folk harmonies into an invigorating whole. Since the Nerk Twins were born in 1966, Eimerman explains, this style is their birthright. "We were conceived from the pop music of the British invasion, breast-fed on psychedelia, and weaned on power pop'' he says. The pseudonymous Twins' official history, which claims that "they spent years busking on the streets,'' is fiction (as is their image, which has never included a photograph of the band). But the appeal of their music is real. "Stay Away" recalls the youthful ebullience of the Hollies, "Dream for Love" evokes the aching, country-tinged melancholy of the Byrds, and "On & On & On" recaptures the hillbilly ethereality of the Everly Brothers. Either Way also features a few welcome changes of pace: "I'm Broke" growls rhythm and blues, "2 Women" and "Ugly" have an old-fashioned Appalachian twang, and "I Love Jamaica" combines doo-wop vocals with Caribbean syncopation in a way that suggests Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints.

Most of these songs, however, jangle their way into a ecstatic tradition that includes not only the Beatles and their contemporaries but also the Raspberries, Big Star, Tom Petty, and the Travelin’ Wilburys. While their roots and influences may not be cutting-edge, the music offered up on Either Way provides an excellent reminder of the musical vitality of an earlier era.

Posted November 8, 2006 3:47 PM