Nerf Herder - My EP [re-issue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Nerf Herder

My EP [re-issue] (2003)

Honest Don's

Nerf Herder still holds a place dear to my heart, but this CD should not have been made twice, and perhaps not even once.

Nerf Herder's first album, a self-titled disc full of fuzzy guitars, straight forward geek rock and hilarious lyrics, came out on Joey Cape's late My Records. It was later released on Arista, but the band left the label by choice and joined up with Honest Don's to release "How to Meet Girls" a slightly less solid album, but still a good listen with a more cleaned-up sound and hits like "Vivian" and "Pantera Fans in Love." Last year they put out "American Cheese," another step down for them, but still a worthy purchase for fans with songs like "Welcome to My World" and " New Jersey Girl." But just as the later song hinted to the days of old with references to "The Cougar" a nickname for drummer Steve not used since their first record, I longed for those days. I still love the band, but their days may be numbered, and even I may be hesitant to buy their next record.

This EP originally came out on My Records in July of 2001, between the two latest full lengths. I didn't pick it up, having heard it already from my sister who is also a big fan. We both agreed it was a little too over the top lyrically, which is saying a lot for these guys. I had the mp3 of my favorite, "Bridge Under Troubled Water" and that was enough.

I was surprised when I got the rerelease to review, but decided to give it another chance. They fixed some things up on the CD: they remixed and remastered it (something I never noticed a problem with on the first run), added four more tracks (however taking away the secret track from the original) and added enhanced features. The CD does sound a bit better after comparing the two, the new being a little crisper and less muddy, and the levels are a little higher. Big deal. The enhanced feature is the video for "The Sportsman's Bar" which basically is them playing in the bar, but has some fancy split-screen work.

The four new tracks (three listed) just add to my problems with the original, because "I Want to Take You Out for Ice Cream" is pointless, short and not very funny, and the new secret track is not as good as the one they replaced from the original. However, the last track "Nikki Webster" is decent with its rockabilly intro and oldies style scat interlude. The other addition "Fight for Your Right to Masturbate" illustrates the biggest problem I had with this thing the first time around. It is another overly-sexual, somewhat disturbing song that these guys are too old to be singing. So add that to the list with the other tracks "Love Sandwich" and "I've Got a Boner for Christmas" (a song from their self-released Christmas EP) which contains the line "All year we've been in a rut / this time let's do it in the butt." Sexual humor has always been a staple of these guys, but they previously used it in moderation, contained in a song about some other topic, not writing songs revolving around sex acts.

This EP does has a few winners like "Hotel California," "High School" and the previously stated favorite "Bridge Under Troubled Water" with hilarious lines like "I know girls like you / Need someone to screw / …Up your life/ and make you contemplate suicide." But even these are B-level tracks for the band. NH should have let this one rest. Only pick this up if you are still a die-hard fan, and everyone else get their first self-titled album. Trust me, that one is great.