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THE LAND OF MISFITS EP (1998)
The Land of Misfits - Click to view! Focusing on remixes, The Land of Misfits EP rolled along not too long after the release of jE's highly acclaimed Robot Rock album. Although plain in design -- the CD itself has nothing but the title printed on it, and the photography on the album is actually stills from the "Monosynth" music video -- The Land of Misfits carries its own weight, as far as EP's go.

Fan favorite "Monosynth" leads off the EP's track listing. It's uncertain why, since it previously appeared on Robot Rock, but it's a decent and welcome showing as one of Ronnie Martin's most unforgettable songs. He also wrote a new track, "The North Sea," to end the EP. It slowly flows along, mysterious and rather haunting, but there's a steady dissonance about it. The synthesizers glide back and forth almost like waves on the ocean and produce a stirring effect that makes you feel like you're standing on the beach listening to the tide come in.

Obviously, the remixes are what most listeners will buy this EP for. Spanning the disc's middle three tracks are new versions of "The Cobbler," "I'm Your Boy," and "Sugar Rush." "The Cobbler" remix is pleasantly delightful, featuring a bigger emphasis on the drum machine and sounding like something a Christian dance club might play. On a totally different spectrum, the new version of "I'm Your Boy" actually detracts from the original version with its extensive bells and whistles. The new intro also clashes with Ronnie's enthusiastic vocals, and the two don't mix well; it would have been cool to hear this track take on a much darker edge. The remix of "Sugar Rush" leads off with some heavy synth work, giving it a sort of mechanized feel, but it quickly fades after the song's opening lyrics and remains true to the original version. It does seem a little weighed down though, and the progressions are noticeably slower. The laser-like finale is a nice touch.

There's not much to The Land of Misfits EP, but it's a worthy addition to the jE discography. The remixes are rather pleasant, and the previously unreleased "The North Sea" is more than enough reason to buy the CD. Any true Joy Electric enthusiast will want to add this gem of an EP to their collection.
- Rick Foux
August 2002
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