Ephraim Zenh
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Ephraim Zenh


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"Ephraim Zenh to offer variety at Yacht Club"

Generosity from a band can take many forms. One is the bestowal of large gifts, such as the offering of free beer to the audience members of one's show. Another is being extremely accommodating, such as the offering of a wide range of songs to audience members.

Ephraim Zenh prefers not to make a choice between the two, and its show tonight at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., will be exactly that giving.

Playing a multitude of songs was something both guitarist Kevin Heintz and bassist Mike Benson emphasized as a key part of not only what makes Ephraim Zenh but also what makes the band different.

"It's something that either drives people away or they love it," Heintz said. "We'll play a song that's sort of heavy and retro - people say 'That's very Zeppelin' all the time-but then the next song will be reggae. We don't ever want to get pigeonholed."

Something the band, before relocating to Iowa City, suffered.
The variety of musical approaches that makes up Ephraim Zenh might be expected from a band created by musicians of extremely differing musical backgrounds (the "jazz drummer" and the "metal guitarist"), but in their case, the variety reflects the open minds and diverse influences of all three members who, for the most part, tend to agree when it comes to their band.

"...We kind of think the same. We know what's going to happen before it does, and we just go into it," Benson said.

Ephraim Zenh started in Ankeny, Iowa, in Benson's basement, where the three longtime friends (Heintz and drummer Jack Heintz are brothers) listened to the albums of bands such as Led Zeppelin and Rush, then turned to a fortunate stockpile of abandoned instruments and started to learn.
Talking to them, it's easy to recognize that they are together because they genuinely like music. "I don't think at any point we sat down and said, 'OK, now we're going to be a band and book shows,' " Heintz said.

And the music in question comes from all over the spectrum - the band's MySpace page lists, as influences, more than 100 bands and individuals as different as Weezer and Russian composer Tchaikovsky and the artist Salvador Dali.

"Eclectic is something we kind of like to be," Heintz said. "It's not one kind of music."

DI reporter Tara Atkinson Gunyon - Daily Iowan


SR Audio EP--2005
--Ephraim Zenh is played on Lazer 103.3 FM in Des Moines, IA and 105.1 FM in Ames, IA
--Forthcoming album TB released March 2009
--Several tracks are available at myspace.com/ephraimzenh



Ephraim Zenh is a three-piece rock ensemble headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa. Drawing from classic and progressive influences, as well as roots-rock, reggae and hard rock genres, Ephraim Zenh has formed a consequent sound that is altogether unique. (Think of a menage-a-trois between Soundgarden, Led-Zeppelin and Rush-then imagine their rebellious, mutant bastard child.)

The trifecta of bass guitar, electric guitar, and trap set comprise the crucial musical foundations of the band. Only the most righteous amplifiers and instruments are employed, thus are both the casual listener and the sonic aesthete satisfied. Guitar growls on power chords and soars on arpeggios; bass tones lull and roll and thump bones to their core; bombastic drumbeats drive the masses crazy. Add to this classic mixture powerfully broad ranges of vocals from all three members, a pinch of long-hair, a dash of bare feet, and an insane amount of rock intensity and one arrives at a veritable recipe for greatness; for the authentic, virile rock �n� roll that oozes out of every pore of Ephraim Zenh�s skin.

The little Midwestern college town of Iowa City is often overlooked in the grand scheme of modern music--but this should not be the case. From hip-hop to metal, folk rock to techno, bands from every genre lie like hidden diamonds here. Ephraim Zenh has bore witness to many acts in the area (and throughout the Midwest) with tremendous talent and breadth, incorporating many of the more favorable attributes into its own performances. As a result, what one experiences at an Ephraim Zenh show is a reflection of different, true currents in the scene(s), but it is unquestionably unique, as anyone who has seen an EZ show can attest to. One gets a demonstration of what music can be when great music is appreciated by fellow musicians.

A philosophy of this band and all worthwhile bands throughout the modern era is that MUSIC COMES FIRST; this belief can not be relegated to a mere afterthought in the quest for fame and fortune if one wishes to create great music. It is in affirmation of this philosophy that Ephraim Zenh has operated and will continue to operate, making the kind of rock music that those who love rock music can be unabashedly proud of.